A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the party taxi

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 7, 2008

Yesterday evening we found ourselves following one of Lebanon’s more festive service/taxi cabs.

Of course, a festive Lebanese taxi can’t hold a candle to a festive Syrian taxi, which usually has multiple neon lights decorating everything from the gear-shift to the rear-view mirror, which itself often supports a plastic grape -vine and a cd printed with Quranic verses, both of which in turn hang above a photograph of the drivers’s young children/nieces and nephews and a sticker showing a beautiful pair of women’s eyes with tears spilling out of them, both attached to the dashboard.

So it wasn’t a festive Syrian taxi – but it was still pretty excited to be on the Beirut side of the Dora highway:

Notice the license plate? Yes, that’s right – its rimmed in fuschia neon. We loved it – and since I couldn’t get a great photograph on the first attempt, H kindly sped up until we were directly behind it:

Beautiful neon license frame! And see those brake lights? In our delight at the festivity, we lost track of what the traffic was doing – so we nearly had a very up-close-and-personal view of the neon.

Seeing the table tied to the cab’s roof-rack reminded me of when I brought a rocking chair home from the built-to-order furniture shop A introduced me to when I first moved here. I love that rocking chair, but I remember it looking absolutely ridiculous strapped to the top of the taxi. It was strapped in an upright position, so we drove through the city looking like a parade float in search of a prom queen to sit on it and smile and wave.

I hope the table’s new owners enjoyed the taxi ride as much as we enjoyed watching it drive in front of us, and I hope they enjoy their table as much as I enjoy my rocking chair.

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2 Responses to “the party taxi”

  1. That is a 1974 or ’75 Mercedes 200 or 220,probably imported from Germany in the 80’s (D for Deutschland next to the license plate). I can’t beleive those cars are still used as cabs! Mercedes-Benz are surely the most durable cars in the world!

  2. Kheireddine, I can’t believe how much you know about these cars! There are TONS of these cars being used as service taxis here – and many that I would say are a bit older, with less streamlined styling. They are indeed very durable – and they are the most efficient form of “public transportation” I’ve seen here!

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