The Crazy Cabby
Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
24Trip End Jan 10, 2009
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I am still shaking from my traumatic cab ride experience. This morning I caught a service cab from Beirut to Damascus. Since this was my second service cab experience I was a bit wiser, I negotiated a non-smoking cab and bought two seats for $40 so I could enjoy the entire front seat to myself. But shortly after the driver pulled out of the garage I was wishing that I chose a seat in the back.
The vehicle had no seat belts and the driver thought he was driving in the Indy 500. There wasn't even a holy crap bar above the window to hang onto, I was completely defenceless. As there was no chance in hell that I was ever going to fall asleep on this journey with the driver so recklessly weaving in and out of traffic and intermittently slamming on his brakes, I occupied my time by counting how many near misses we had with other cars
When we crossed into Syria, we passed a truck full of military recruits. I have never seen so many soldiers crammed into the back of a truck, they were spilling over the sides like bails of hay - a couple could easily fall out and the guy driving would never know. Suddenly the front seat of a speeding taxi cab did not seem so unsafe after all - there's always someone worse off!
I was going to go straight to Jordan but a nice English speaking student from Damascus going to school at the American University in Beirut convinced me to spend a couple days in Damascus with a promise of a guided tour of the old city. How could I resist? Plus I had to pay yet another $56 for an entry visa in Syria after leaving for only 3 days so I may as well get my monies worth.
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