Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taxi Rides

Taxi rides here tend to follow a script, especially if it's just me up front with the driver. If he's feeling chatty, he starts by asking me where I'm from, how long I've been here, and how long I'm staying. Then he lies and says my Spanish is good. Are you married? Kids? What are you doing here? Do you like Honduras?

More times than I can count, I'm told, "You know, I lived in the United States for a few years. I really liked your country." We talk of the work they did and the money they were able to earn for their family. And then often this question: Why do people in your country not want us to come?

I never quite know how to respond. I say the economy is difficult and people worry about jobs. People worry that immigrants will be a drain on our country's resources. I say that many people, including myself, are not opposed to immigration and even welcome it. I try to explain that for the people in the States it's not personal, but of course to the person sitting next to me it is.

I'm now at the point where I hope the driver is feeling chatty. The conversations are necessarily limited by language barriers, but the removal of other barriers more than makes up for it.

No comments: