The ride that changed it all…

by

It was pouring down rain and we had just left a Moroccan students house where we had lunch with his family. We were standing on the side of the road and with every passing minute the drops of rain were getting bigger and coming down harder. There was no hope for a taxi to stop that didn’t already have its seats filled to the point of discomfort, so we started walking. With every step, there was more laughter. The laughter of three girls hailing down full taxis just to send them away, holding people in the rain to ask them in which direction the Hotel Riff was, looking at each other with mascara running down our faces, smiling from ear to ear. There was an understanding that this was to be remembered, this was a moment of movement. Finally after walking up hill with our soaking wet selves and bags full of tea pots, tapestries and mugs from the Medina, we got ourselves a taxi that by the grace of God was empty. Frantically, we opened the doors and, due to the language barrier, didn’t ask but more or less squealed “Hotel Riff? Hotel Riff?” In which the taxi driver responded with the nod of his head and a large smile. On the way to the hotel, the taxi driver proceeded to mimic us and laugh with us till we were out with both of the doors shut. He had no hesitancy to enjoy his car ride with us by making fun of our frantic voices calling out to him “Hotel Riff? Hotel Riff?” With the rolling of his R’s and the tone of his voice he made history in our minds, because at that point, we are all uncontrollably laughing, with an understanding of one another that was learned in having a light heart and a positive excitement about the rain rather than a spiteful negative towards it. As the taxi ride continues, we have an excitement and joy in our eyes while we are continually laughing at each other because of what just occurred. I will never forget this memory. I will never forget all three of us choosing to make it a good one, one that will last and be remembered in a joyful way than in a way that made us miserable, because it easily could have done so. I will forever crave the taste of the raindrops on my lips and the way that this adventure made me feel. This taxi driver is imbedded in my mind forever. His kindness and ability to break down the walls of diversity with laughter was admirable. Although all we could say to him was thank you, it meant more than I thought it would when it left my mouth. We were saying thank you for so much more than a simple taxi ride. We were saying thank you for his joyous laughter and his ability to make us feel welcome. I always knew that laughter was powerful, something you can feel inside you starting to erupt, until it reaches its peak and you can no longer control it. Laughter speaks to you when your joy cannot form words, but this kind of laughter that the four of us shared, was saying something that I’ve never heard before. Something that cannot be put into words but can be understood with an understanding of the person you are sharing it with. The adrenalin you feel when getting into a small taxi in a foreign place, the simulations that evoke all your senses, it is all part of an experience, an experience that you don’t expect to have a lasting effect on you, but when you look back on it, you realize the importance of the memory. You realize that there is a reason this memory is sticking out. There is a reason that this memory needs to be told, and whether or not I or you have the answers is not the question, for if it were, you would be missing the whole point.

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