Taxi

Taxi

“Life is perhaps/ a long street through which a woman holding/ a basket passes every day. Life is perhaps/a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch/ life is perhaps a child returning home from school. Life is perhaps lighting up a cigarette/ in the narcotic repose between two love-makings/ or the absent gaze of a passerby/ who takes off his hat to another passerby/ with a meaningless smile and a good morning”
— “Another Birth” by Forugh Farrokhzad

Life is perhaps a view from inside the window of a taxi where Fayrouz’s heavy, saccharine voice lulls the outdoor cacophony of honks, children’s gleeful shrieks, and vendors’ bellows for za’atar while hanging beads from the dashboard click and clack in harmony with the swivels of the road.

Pick any taxi you like. There are taxis of all kinds: vans, Mercedes, two-toned vanilla wafer-coloured taxis, “just do it” stamped taxis; you call and they come at your beckon.

A city of taxis, streets of saffron and citron yellow for miles. Stationary taxis and moving taxis and full taxis and empty Taaaxeeeeeeeeeeeee!Taa—Marhaba. Marhaba.

Whizzing by rows of forgotten olive trees, their presence overcome with nostalgia of past times where the scent of rubber mixed with blood from the bulldozers ahead were remnants of a divergent reality.

An ode to the men in shadowed shisha rooms satiated with smoke and tv sets buzzing with recaps of Arab Idol. A song to the woman in pink sandals clutching plastic bags stuffed with dates and parsley. Windows down, palm leaves dance with the newfound breeze. I feel the air between my fingers. Cafes welcome familiar strangers. I remember my mother braiding my hair weaving with it stories of her land. Catching bits of conversations and rolling oranges on the pavement underneath us. I ride in my taxi until we reach the checkpoint where it ceases to exist.

 

 

Images courtesy of Perwana Nazif

 

Clarita Nieblas

Clarita Nieblas

Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis