Taxi is literally the driving force of the city of Tashkent. It is available any time of the day, anywhere in the city and almost every person driving a car is a taxi driver (full time, part time, once in a blue moon while going around their own business). In addition to the most reliable transportation, and most affordable one, it is also the source of news updates, fresh gossip, philosophy lessons and simple wisdom. All of the above is usually unsolicited, but welcome. I have many stories from my taxi rides. In fact, I am leaning towards a conclusion that the most interesting things I hear wile riding taxi. Here is one of them:
Ever since coming to Tashkent over a month ago I keep hearing word “progress” pretty often. This word here sometimes takes most unusual and interesting tones. “Progress” said a forty-something taxi driver “will eventually be the reason for our demise. Back in the day we did not have all this technology and were very happy. Everything was better back then without all these cell phones and Internet. I knew a man whose marriage was ruined by the damn cell phone! His wife would constantly get these weird phone calls and text messages. She put password on that thing so she can hide these messages. Latter he found out she was talking to her first love on that cellphone and divorced her. Cell phone ruined their marriage. Progress will kill us all.” Indeed progress is powerful thing, I thought, powerful enough for a man to not blame a woman for once.