Today’s conversation with a taxi driver in very high spirits:
Me: You seem very happy.
Taxi driver: I am! I’m getting married.
Me: Great, good for you. So…when’s the wedding?
Taxi driver: I don’t know. Sometime this year.
Me: You guys haven’t picked a date yet…
Taxi driver: Hehe, I didn’t even pick the bride…
Me (puzzled): You didn’t?!
Taxi driver: Nope. Not yet. The only thing I know is that I will get married this year.
Taxi driver (in a reassuring tone): It’s the apricot branch. It’s in full bloom. I kept it in vase in my bedroom and now it’s blooming. Let me show it to you.
He activates the screen of an old LG phone and shows me the picture of the blooming branch.
Taxi driver: I kept one every year. Nothing ever happened. My mother said “be patient, boy. One day, when a year will be nearly over, one of these branches is going to bloom. And you will get married.”
Me (in awe): aww.
Taxi driver: I live with my mother, he explains. I look closely at the branch every morning when I wake up. Yesterday morning, on the last day of the year, I ran to her, to my mother. She was in the kitchen. And so I ran to her and said come and see, the branch is blooming! When she saw it with her own eyes, she said „at last!”. Yesterday afternoon I prepared for a long night shift on the New Year’s Eve, new shirt and everything. She stopped me at the door and said „Wait. You have to do it right. You need to start this night by driving three men in a row. Not women. Men. YOUR FIRST THREE CUSTOMERS NEED TO BE MEN. If it’s a woman, you won’t get married. Or worse: your wife is gonna be a bad one. So tonight you start with three men. Or not at all.”
Me: How did it go?
Taxi driver: Bad. Terribly. I had to drive for hours without finding a single male customer. They were all women. Or couples. Lots of them. I turned everybody down. I found some lonely drunk guys later on, and I thanked the Lord for them. I can finally get married.