My short visit to Denver, Colorado, for a business trip, came to an end. I was quite tired due to jetlag and less sleep for the last four days. It’s time to go home. I booked a taxi at the hotel for a 35 minutes trip to Denver International Airport (DIA).
The driver was a middle-aged Mexican American, quite friendly and talkative. Even though I was tired, but I tried to engage in the conversation. He explained to me the suburban residential areas we passed along the highway going to the airport. We talked about the nice and not so nice housing complex, rich and poor neighborhoods, the economic growth in Denver last five years, employee shortage and raising of housing price.
He told me about his work, earning, and family. He lost his business during the 2008 global economic downturn. He said he had lost everything, including his three houses and lived in a rental apartment. His taxi driving job provides him a good income this time. He works 60 hours a week with his taxi, which is long working hours for me. But he said he’s fine as he was not behind the wheel all the time, a lot of time was waiting for passengers. On quiet days, he could earn $100 a day, and $400 a day in busy days, which usually on Thursday and Friday with many business commute travelers.
He has three kids. The eldest is a civil engineer working with a Korean company. The 21-year-old middle is a manager of a service company. His youngest is 16 years old working as an intern during the high school break earning some money. He seemed to be very proud of his kids. He said they looked after him during his tough time.
He has just bought a house and planned to move out from his apartment to his new home next week. He’s delighted and so happy. I am delighted for him and his family. My tiredness was disappeared for a while.
Approaching the DIA airport complex, I asked his name and introduced mine.
He replied: “Jesus.”
“Wow, It’s a big name,” I said.
“Yeah, so you’re safe,” he added candidly. I am not sure if he meant to say that I was saved.
He asked me: “Do you have the same Jesus?”
“No, I am a Buddhist. But I believe in good people and humanity”, I replied.
“All religions are good,” he said.
“Yeah, I think so, Jesus and Buddha might be friends somewhere,” I said.
Our conversation was cut as he paid full attention to park his taxi at a busy passenger dropping bay. I tried to pay the fee with my credit card, but the payment was not gone through. Then, I paid it cash. He gave me a card receipt and wrote down his name – Jesus, and his contact number. He asked me to call him if the failed credit card payment come through for any reason.
I asked his favor to take a wefie and thanked him for his hospitality, friendliness, and the chat. Now, I have a 24 hour flight time to catch before arriving home in Perth.
Denver, 9 August 2018