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Starting my drive just outside of Boston in the early morning, it was a beautiful drive heading down route 117. I know from experience, if I make it to Waltham without getting that first ride it’s never a good sign, as most pickups in this town don’t seem to go far.
On this particular morning I was in luck as I stopped to pick up Tazia, who was actually heading into Boston! She was stunningly exotic looking and as she got comfortable in my back seat, she mentioned how she was late for her shift at a highly rated restaurant in the seaport area of Boston. Tazia told me she was helping out a friend by covering her shift and was running about 15 minutes behind. I knew she was not from these parts, so I dug in a little deeper.
As it turns out, Tazia is Tibetan. She told me she’s from a refugee camp in the south of India. Apparently, in the 1950s the Chinese invaded Tibet as they were rich in resources and held a strategic border with India. Her grandfather was a Tibetan Monk, and with his wife he managed to escape to Nepal where they lived in a refugee camp for many years. China was putting pressure on Nepal to clamp down on the refugees and return them to China (which was never a good alternative for the Tibetan refugees), so since India had offered asylum to the refugees… it was time to flee once again. Her dad met his wife in Nepal and together with young Tazia, they made their move and made it safely to the Southern Indian city of Bangalore, an area that became the most successful refugee camp ever.
Tazia is only 23 and a junior at Brandeis University on full scholarship. Not too shabby, especially for a refugee. Tazia mentioned she usually takes public transportation, so I asked how that was working for her and she said it was fine, but disturbing how everyone seems so disconnected and into their phones. She was not used to “no one talking to each other.” I always appreciate hearing an international perspective on the U.S., particularly Boston. It’s often honest and sometimes haunting.
As we continued to talk, Tazia got a call from her boss inquiring about her ETA. All was good until she got a second call 10 minutes later, and just as I turned onto Seaport Blvd., literally 1 minute from her destination. It as it was her boss again calling to let Tazia know that she was no longer needed for her friend’s shift. Tazia never mentioned she had just arrived!
Really? I almost flipped a gasket, but I’ve reformed. I wanted to rip the phone from her hands and give her boss a piece (a big piece) of my mind (which might not have gone too well, but again…I’ve reformed).
Meanwhile, Tazia was so cool, calm and collected as she asked me, “Would you mind taking me to Newbury Street? I think I will just get my nails done.” I thought, “What?”
I asked Tazia why she didn’t tell her boss that she had just arrived. “You rushed to fill a coworker’s time slot and spent a sizeable amount of money to get down there,” I said. I was confused.
Tazia explained, “Why bother? My boss has such a hectic job, so I’ll just do something else till my normal shift starts. “
WOW, I just couldn’t believe how mellow and compassionate she was. I guess coming from a refugee camp certainly changes one’s perspective on things. For Tazia, it was no biggie in the big picture of life. For me, however, it was more like BEING LATE… ZEN STYLE!