I hate hypocrites!
Ok, let me rephrase that. I really, really, REALY do not like hypocrites! (hate is a strong term I try to avoid using as much as I can). In fact, one of my biggest personal fears, truth be told (Apart from marriage and also ending up in hell fire), is to ever be counted as one.
Now everyone has hypocritical tendencies and have been hypocritical to various extents, that’s human nature I suppose and that’s ok, but the ones that get me are the ones who are so judgmental of others, act like their ‘sh*t don’t stink’, present themselves as paragons of morality, when they are clearly not!
I see so much of this everywhere, from my home country, my host country, all over the planet and it irritates me to no ends. As a result, my personal policy in life has been endeavour not to do anything that I would criticize another person for doing(and if I do, then I forfeit the right to criticize), and also not to judge anyone too harshly for doing anything that I would probably do myself. Regardless of what it is.
My personal ‘Life code’ has a few grey areas, it’s true, but the one thing I do not do, is present myself as anything more than who I am (flaws and all).
Now I’ve been a ‘teacher’ (yeah let’s just go with that term) for some time here in Bucharest, and everyone and their mothers know that I absolutely WORSHIP my kids! (For clarity, kids = students)
I gave conversation English classes, or LBT (Learn By Talking) classes in which the kids have conversations with a native speaker (Me) and in so doing polish their speaking skills and become more confident in speaking.
Now I don’t believe in false modesty, so yeah, I was DAMNED GOOD at my job!
The kids, well majority of them, seemed to get a kick out of the classes too.
I’ve taught from Kindergarten to 8th grade and it’s been great.
Many of my former kids are now young adults of varying age ranges, and a handful of them have even made the leap from just being my ex-kids, to bonafide friends of mine (this circle is very small, but it’s there).
I’ve often been asked so many times and on so many occasions, why my kids react the way they do to me, how I managed to have such a rapport with them, how is it that they speak so freely with me, and I do the same with them and for some reason it doesn’t give off an awkward vibe. To these questions, my answer has always been, “From day one, the kids and I have a ‘No Bullshit’ pact/policy with each other.” I never talked down to them, never treated them like ‘infants’, and always let them know I was no saint myself.
Over time, the kids developed a certain level of trust with me and my endless stream of life advices and the rapport was built, but all based on the fact that I was never hypocritical with them and I think they appreciated that and responded in kind.
If only more teachers/adults out there would remember how they were when they were the ages of the kids they’re addressing, there would be a lot more understanding communication between them. But look at me…. I digress!
So back to Annoying hypocrisy! Bucharest taxi drivers! :)))
Taxi drivers are a 'roll of the dice' for which type you’ll get when you get into a taxi.
Most are decent, some are as we say here…’Asa si Asa!’ (so-so!), but then, when the gods want to share their frustrations with you, you get those that talk, and talk, and TALK!!! And I’ve had my share of those.
Let me tell you about one.
I’d gotten this taxi one night and was heading home after dropping off a friend. I gave him my address and then he turned to me and asked where I was from and I told him, Nigeria.
I really wasn’t in the mood for a chatty ride that evening, but this dude didn’t get the memo and the following was what my ears witnessed in that cab: (now the whole conversation was in Romanian, but I’ll write it in a mix of Romanian & English as I understood it)
Taxi: “De cat esti aici la noi?” (Basically, how long have you been living here?)
Me: “15 ani” (15 years)
Taxi: “Esti casatorit?” (Are you married?)
Me: “Nu” (No!)
Taxi: “De ce?” (Why?)
Me: “Er…. Nu vreau?” (Er….I don’t want to?)
Taxi: “Nu iti place femeie??” (You don’t like women? But asked in a manner basically asking if I was gay)
(Ok, this is difficult! I’m gonna write the rest just in English. Lol!)
Taxi: “It’s not good for you to not be married, it’s very bad, God does not like it!”
Me: “Yeah sure!” (getting slightly irritated and hoping I get home soon. “I’m not in the mood for this ok?”
Taxi: “Don’t be upset, you’re young and you look good, you should want to get married so the world does not lead you astray.
Me: ‘I’m in my mid 40s’
Taxi: “Doesn’t matter, you can't be happy if you are single. Look at me, I’m married and I have a son he’s 20 something” (I cant remember the age he said)
Taxi: “Thank you!”
Me: “Are you happy?”
Just then his phone rings, I keep quiet and there’s a lady at the other end of the line, they talk for a bit and I gazed out of the window hoping this pointless convo was over. After he had finished I asked, “The Mrs?” to which he answered, “No, that’s my mistress!”
Me: “Poftim???” (Excuse me???)
Taxi: “Yeah that’s my mistress.”
Me: “But I thought you said you were married!”
Taxi: "Yes I am, but we don’t live together anymore. The B**** left me. She found someone else and started a new relationship with him."
I sat up on my seat! ('Oh this is going to be good!' I thought to myself.)
Taxi: “After all that time married, she just decided she wasn’t happy with me and just went to someone else”
Me: “Was this recent?”
Taxi: “Since last year!”
Me: “I’m sorry to hear this. Well at least you found someone new yourself.”
Taxi: “No! I’ve been with my mistress for about 5years now!”
Me: “Wait what???” (Thinking, ‘You were cheating on your wife for years, and she’s the b*** for leaving you?’)
Me: “Hmm, interesting. How’s your son doing?”
Taxi: “I’m disappointed with him. He’s stupid! Doesn’t want to do anything with his life. Has no job! Moved in with a ‘Ho’ who doesn’t respect him or anyone. Such a major disappointment.” (This man went on on a tirade of everything wrong with his son, wife and mistress with such bitterness in his voice. It was unreal!)
As I used all my willpower to keep from laughing hysterically at this sad yet ridiculously hilarious story, I thought to myself, ‘So mister 'it’s not good for you not to be married' isn’t living in bliss afterall? And he dares to preach to me and (who knows who else) about such virtues (he clearly does not possess) when he clearly isn’t 'winning' at all? Amazing!
Me: “Soooo…. Are you happy?”
Taxi: “Sigh! That’s life…what can one do? Let’s leave this topic.”
Me: Thinking to myself, ‘Oh hell no! We ain’t leaving sh*t mister!’
Just before I could taunt him with some more questions, we arrived at my destination. I was half tempted to have him go round the block so I could continue but decided against it. As the taxi drove off, I stood infront of my block wondering what the hell had just happened. People are strange indeed.
A lot of people just love to point out the faults and judge the flaws in the lives of others while acting like their own lives isn’t the equivalent of a 'circus overrun by animals high on cocaine and redbull'! It irritates me to no ends!
I’ve had many hypocritical experiences with taxi drivers here, from the ones who try to cheat/extort money for the fares without using the meter while preaching about God and Jesus, to the ones who simply don’t want to use the metre and try to charge you a high fare, claiming its not too much, and whenever I ask those (who I personally call ‘E bine boss?’ taxi drivers) if ‘they’ could and would pay such if the roles were reversed, 100% of the time I’m met with silence.
Anyhoo, like I said, I can’t stand hypocrisy, and sad truth is, it's everywhere, and not just with taxi drivers. We’re all guilty of it to varying degrees, but If people could be a bit more, honest, truthful, empathic, less judgmental, do away with virtue-signaling and just…..be real, society and the world will be much more pleasant. In my opinion anyways.
Like I always tell people, “I am not perfect, but I have just one face, what you see is what you get. Good or bad.”
Till the next blog post, take care and stay safe!
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