Sunday, April 18, 2004

Life update: let's face it, I've been busy.

So I never got a chance to write up my fabulous end-of-Yom Tov back in London, and now it's faded into the mists of all the other crap in my head. Here's a mini-update of the last coupla weeks, starting with this.

Got a cab back from the station a week last Thursday. Feels like last year. There was a little post-modern-mobile-phone-play in trying to find each other (I'd sensibly ordered a local cab while I was still on the train). When I found him he was young, Asian, with long swept back hair and sunglasses of the Telly-Savalas-seventies style. It was dark, even without the glasses.

We get chatting, you know how it is, and he's playing some kinda bhangra compilation on his CD, and I ask him about bhangra clubs, and he says the best one is in Hanger Lane, near the roundabout. He gives me the address. We talk more...

Him: I like cabbing, you meet interesting people
Me: Yeah. Do you do it full time?
Him: No, I run my own car-hire business in the East End (I can't help wondering how sucessful the business can be if he's cabbing on the side). If you ever need a car...

As we drive through Harlesden, conversation turns to the inevitable:

Him: Yeah, I'm a muslim. My ex-girlfriend, she wasn't, but she is now.
Me: Why's she your ex?
Him: These religious girls, they're not for me
Me: Oh, are you religious?

Turns out (a) once his girlfriend got religion she wouldn't sleep with him and he dumped her, and (b)he eats halal and doesn't drink alcohol, which in my book seems pretty frum. I ask him if he prays five times a day.

Him: Well, three or four, yeah. But I'm a playboy, see - he runs his hands through his hair, past his sunglasses - I like the girls.

Then he tells me he used to have a job at St John's Wood Cars, but he had to leave.

Him: I used to spend a lot of money; drinks, hotel rooms. For the girls, you know. I worked Saturday night, cabbing, but if I met a girl, I'd call in sick.
Me: But weren't you sick every weekend? Didn't they rumble you?
Him: No, sometimes my brother came from Afghanistan, sometimes my Auntie needed me.

We talked a little more about music, and I skirted the are-you-single question by implying that I had so many tall, well-built, don'tmess-with'em boyfriends he shouldn't even consider me. He told me more about being a playboy, and not ironically. I told him about Passover. I wasn't convinced it was a fair swap, but hey.

As we drew up to my house, he got out of the car, ran round to the passenger side and held the door open for me in an old-fashioned gentlemanly way, carried my bags to the door, and then ran back to the car.

Him: This is for you, Sasha - he handed me the Heavy CD from that we'd been lislistening to - it's been great to talk to you.

I wasn't sure if this was generous-spirited or a come-one.

Me: That's very sweet of you, thank you, but I can't accept it - I implied that no trade-off was available, although I did this subtley.
Him: No, no, it's my pleasure. I am a playboy. I have many, many CDs, at least two hundred and fifty. Please, take it.

So that's why I'm listening to "a huge floor-banger of an album" while I'm writing this.

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