Ever since I started using a local ride-hailing app to get cabs instead of catching them from the street, there's been a sharp decline in the random conversations I would have with cab drivers. I miss them, the light-hearted banter, the cultural exchange.
On the way back home from a writing session today, the cab driver struck up a conversation with me, first asking me whether I was from India or Pakistan since I was speaking to him in Urdu. This is how the conversations usually begin. It soon led to a discussion on the standard of living in large cities in Pakistan compared to those of India, with Karachi apparently being a very reasonable city to live in. We somehow transitioned to politics, and I asked him what he thought about Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister. What followed was an impassioned speech on how the man was true to his word, was determined to eliminate corruption by holding former politicians responsible for all the money they'd robbed the country of, and had opened two government cancer hospitals that offered cancer treatment for free. The cabbie actually had an Indian customer that flew to Pakistan to get treated for cancer because he couldn't afford it in Kuwait! It amazed me, because I know India is not welcoming of Pakistani citizens.
Every time I have a warm and interesting conversation like this that I wonder why I don't strike up conversations with cabbies or strangers more.
When did you last have a random conversation and what was it about?