Going to a meeting today I was quite surprised to hear the SatNav in the taxi speaking French.
"You're French?" I asked the driver, (well I kind of exclaimed actually).
"Yes." He replied. "Blah blah blah?" (I didn't understand what he was saying but from the tone I figured he was asking me if I spoke it.
I told him "No", and couldn't help myself from saying the first thing that came to my mind, usually I think before I speak(!).
"You guys have just banned the burka." I said sitting behind him covered from head to toe.
"No, we didn't. Our Government did. There were many people against it. Me? I don't see the big deal about it. What's next? Banning the jeans I wear?"
"Hmm" I mused.
"You wear it for your husband?"
"No. I wore it even before I met him."
"I actually spoke to a governor in my country, I asked him why, he told me it's because of terrorism. I told him how many terrorists do you know that wore one? I was in Sham El Sheikh when the bombings took place there a few years ago. Those terrorists wore normal clothes, so what do we do? Ban normal clothes? I don't know the French are backwards. I don't like French culture. Then the man told me it's to prevent accidents because women who wear it, their vision is impaired, but really how many women that wear it have caused accidents? I tell you, none."
"Yes, I'm taking driving lessons, I can see perfectly fine." I said.
"Anyhow, you know at least you Women have principles. Me? I was married 20 years and she with somebody else. While I was working for my family, to support them she was with another man, 20 years. She was English. I can't trust English women, I don't trust them, never again."
"I'm really sorry to hear that." I really was.
"My children, they knew about it too, but they didn't tell me you know, cause' they didn't want the family to break up. I understand they were scared but I feel betrayed by them too you know, you can't trust English women."
He talked the rest of the way while I listened, about the French, about the English, about his ex -wife and about his children betraying him. I found myself wondering if his 5 children were all his, but I didn't dare voice my thoughts.
We arrived at my destination.
"Thirteen pounds," He exclaimed. "I'm so sorry about that, you know the English?" They over charge for everything. A short journey like this and it's so expensive. The English they can't be trusted."
I paid and thanked him and walked away feeling very sorry for a man who had lost faith in a whole society because of the actions of a few.