Saturday, May 12, 2018

Today’s Uber Driver | Lefsetz Letter

She was driving a BMW X4.

That’s an expensive car. Let me look it up online. It STARTS at 50k. Why is its owner driving Uber?

Well, maybe it’s not the person’s car. That’s right, I wasn’t sure whether it was a male or female, the name was VINEETA. But last night, the driver rented his new Audi Quattro to drive, it cost him $40 for the day. But an X4?

It was her car, it was the first thing I asked Vineeta, after I got into the front seat.

Sometimes I don’t want to ride in the back, I didn’t want to look at my phone, do any business, although Paul Anka did call while we were en route and WAZE was barking directions and I was disoriented and I’m worried I didn’t perform appropriately, but basically I wanted to experience the vista.

But the woman was dignified and well-dressed, what was going on?

Well, she was from India, she’d been here fifteen years. That’s what you have to understand about Toronto, supposedly it has the most ethnicities of any city in the world, if you’re a racist, it’s not the place to be, especially since many people of color have been here for generations.

So why was she driving?

Her kids were in school.

Did she need the money or the entertainment?

She was trying to keep herself busy. She’s got a degree in finance, but she has to take her son to swim practice every afternoon and it’s hard to hold down a full-time job. Her husband works in software. He’s a muckety-muck, but I didn’t learn that until I found out…

It was an arranged marriage.

Well, not exactly, they were on that road, they could see that ending, so they picked each other.

I asked her, sensitively, whether if she had to do it all over again…

DEFINITELY, she loved her husband.

But India was so culturally different. It’s about family, and extended family, and her parents approved of his parents, but she’s having a hard time adjusting to here, where everybody’s in their own silo.

But she would never move back, she didn’t think her kids would tolerate it, even though they visit on vacation regularly.

Oh, did I tell you they got married at SIXTEEN??!!!


Her husband’s father was a player in India, they moved to Singapore for a couple of years and then here.

Does she fit in?

Well, her kids, thirteen and seven, keep bossing them around, telling them what’s up, how to live, and this would NEVER happen in India, you do what your parents say.

But she’s experienced no racism, which is kind of astounding, with that skin color and name in the United States…

Where an Indian woman in my doctor’s office dates a white man but has not and will not tell her parents, who live up north.

Vineeta said her parents would be okay with her marrying a white man, it’s just that it would NEVER HAPPEN!

And her driving was somewhat hesitant, and she wasn’t that familiar with WAZE, but she told me she’d been driving Uber for three months.

Ah, the stories in the city.


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