November 2015, from airport home, 40 min
Driver: Amir, 25, from Somali, Muslim, managed to get separated already.
Today my taxi ride from the airport was very entertaining. First of all, I didn’t have wait for a taxi even for a second, because there were more vehicles there than passengers. It was a good start! I got a Maxi taxi – the large van for 11 passengers. I don’t particularly like those vehicles and hesitated for a bit. But then I saw a cute young driver and decided to give it a go.
Straight away he told me his name is Amir and it means ‘Prince’ in Somali. Unfortunately, my name is not as exotic and definitely does not mean Princess in any language. My comment made him laugh hysterically.
We started to talk. Amir has been in Australia for 21 years. He came here with his parents when he was just 4 years old. He is one of seven kids – all boys. His father has a business overseas and they travelled overseas a lot as a family. On top of everything, his close family (aunties, grandparents and cousins) live in USA, Canada, England and France, so he can travel the world just by visiting his relatives. (Sometimes having a large family is a great advantage).
Amir finished university and got a degree in electrical engineering. After I told him that I am a chemical engineer, our bond became even stronger. But he prefers driving a taxi as it pays better and gives flexible hours. (I want to mention that all our conversation was filled with a lot of jokes and laughter non-stop.
Now is the interesting bit. Amir has been married for 3 years. He found his wife himself, it was not a traditional arranged marriage. She is 4 years younger. They had a baby 2 years ago by Caesarian. And despite doctors advice, the wife kept insisting on having more kids. Finally, he got tired of her demands and left. Apparently, his wife insisted on having sex all the time, so she can get pregnant again. Sometimes, he would get a call in the middle of the shift to come home, because it’s a right time to conceive.
– Can you tell me why she wants so many kids? Why can’t she wait? – Amir asked me suddenly.
– Hey, I don’t know your wife, I don’t know enough about your culture. How can I answer your question?
– But she is so young, only 21. It’s not like she is an old woman in her 30′.
At this point I almost fell out of the car. In his eyes I was probably as old as a dinosaur.
– Maybe she just wanted to make sure you won’t leave her because of the kids?
– Then she was totally wrong.
They separated a few months ago and he is waiting until to apply for an official Australian divorce (only 6 more months). According to him, he was tired of sex on demand with the sole purpose of having another baby. (How often can we hear complaints from a young man about excessive sex? For me, it’s a first).
To get over his extra hard marital duties he visited USA and Canada, as well as Spain in the last 7 months. Did you know taxi drivers earned so much money? Maybe I should become one. I guess, traveling helped him to restore his manpower, because Our Don Juan from Somali already “started liking” another girl. 😳
When I expressed my doubts about divorce in Muslim culture, Amir told me that it’s quite easy to do. Muslims can get married 4 times and divorce their wives, no problems. They can even get married to the same woman, but only if she is not the THIRD wife. In case it’s his third divorced wife and they want to get together again, the woman has to marry someone else, divorce that man and only after that they can tie their knot again. This is very messy, or maybe he was selling me bullshit by the truckload.
– Hey, why would you want to marry the woman, who you have already divorced? You split for a reason, right?
He looked at me as if I were intellectually challenged and answered very confidently:
– What do you mean Why? You simply don’t understand anything. Love is totally unpredictable. Trust me, I know!
I could not stop laughing all night – probably should take his number in case I need an advice on love or marriage.