As told to Pink Lady, by Issa Hawamdah, Luxor Cab Driver, San Francisco, CA
Yesterday morning I got into the cab of Issa Hawmdah, a charming older cabbie who spoke English with a heavy accent, peppered with the phrase "bless your heart." Grey haired, glasses, wearing a windbreaker - he looked like the kind of gentle grandfather who'd pick you up from school and take you to get ice cream.
He told me about how he works seven days a week from 5AM to 10AM, but that afterward he likes to drive his own car, far out of the city to The Russian River or Carmel. He said that it's hard to work seven days a week, but that he was thankful for being able to earn his living and get out to see nature too. He said that some days he is busy, but that other days he's not; but a lack of customers doesn't frustrate him - "I just take it easy and see what comes to me. It all happens for a reason. If I am busy I am happy because I make money, but if not, I just see where I go and try to avoid accidents and tickets. I am always thankful for the customers I get. It is the kharma - I will get what I need, and if I don't it will come another way. It goes into storage for now."
I agreed, but mentioned that I heard times were tough for cabbies since so many people were losing their jobs. This was when he gave me this dose of wisdom:
"I hear people are losing their jobs and they are sad. I know they are sad, but they should not be. Every time in the past that I have lost a job it has always made me happy, there was always something better. Something better always came along. They should know that there is something better coming to them, it always comes. Don't get me wrong, I send out a prayer for people who have lost their jobs - that they will find work and healing and be happy. And, because I know that this prayer will come back to me too."