Aruba, Jamaica, ooooh I wanna take ya. . .

To Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama. . .

I know you know that song.  And I hope I got it stuck in your head.

I had a nice encounter and goodbye as I left the happy island of Aruba on December 27th.  I spent six great days with my family and had to head back to work one day for the remainder of the year and turn around less than 24 hours later to go to NY for the weekend.

I dragged my huge luggage out the resort with my parents and Jonah in a stroller, calm as can be.  Man, that baby is awesome.

The concierge called me a cab and while I waited I bent down to get the last few minutes of play with Jonah that I could.

The cab, an SUV, pulled up and the driver jumped out and started helping me with my bag into the back.

Me:  Hi, I’m going to the airport, please.

ET (the cab driver):  Oh, they told me you were going to the train station??

I look up at him with furrowed eyebrows, thoroughly confused.

Me:  There’s a train station here?  (We are on the small island of Aruba)

ET:  They told me you’d tell me how to get there!

I threw my head back, laughing out loud.

Me (to ET):  Ha-ha-ha.

I said my goodbyes to my parents and Jonah again.  Always sad to leave my family.  We drove on and immediately the cab driver engaged me in a conversation.

ET:  Who were those people?  Is that your baby?

Me:  No, he’s not my baby.  Those were my parents.

ET:  That’s not your baby?

Me:  No.  (And why are you so interested? Is what I’m thinking)

ET:  So are you Chinese?  (Oooooh, man, why are older men so interested in where Asians are from??)

Me:  Actually, I’m Korean.

ET:  Oh, even better.  (What the hell is that supposed to mean?)  You are very beautiful.

Me:  Hehe, uh, thanks!  (I want to break the awkwardness –) So, are you a native Arubian?

ET:  Yes, born and raised!

And we start into some talk about Aruba and native things and native cuisine (which there isn’t much of).

Eventually. . .

ET says:  Yes, and we have iguana soup.  Make the soup and put the eggs in!  Makes a man so powerful and strong — it’s better than any blue pill!  (And immediately I think, “Is Viagra blue?”  Eek, awkwaaaaard)

ET:  But if a woman drinks it, she will eat you raw!

Oooooh bleeeeeech!  My eyes start to wander looking around to see how I can escape this SUV, so suddenly and completely uncomfortable.

And I’m looking out the window as we pass downtown — all the vendors, the fancy jewelry stores, the cruise boats, the tourists. . . I’m totally pouting and don’t want to talk anymore. What do I say?  Am I going to make it home, let alone to the airport?!?

I decided to break the awkward silence —

Me:  So, do you have kids?  (ET must have been at least 55-60 years old)

ET:  Yeah, here they are.  (He passes me his Blackberry)

Me:  Hey!  That’s your dog.

ET:  He’s a pug!  Better than any woman — is always happy to see me, never argues with me, never asks me for money.

Oh yeah?  Well, I can say that men are a royal pain the ass too, buddy.  Holey moley, why did I get in a cab with this man??

ET and I got into our conversation.  I decided to probe about what he does and who he is.   He gave me a candy and a cookie, saying he usually gives those to kids that ride in his cab.


He said something about getting old and age. . .

Me:  Well, I’m getting older too.

ET:  Noooo, come on, you mean 23-24 is old??  (Wow, completely flattered!)

Me:  I’m actually 36 (almost 37).

ET:  What?!?!  No way, that is impossible.

And he started to really divulge some crazy information about his main job (cab driving is his side job) and his life experiences that involved South American countries (Aruba is not far from Venezuela), narcotics and law enforcement agencies, asking me not to tell anyone what he tells me.  I’m in complete shock, listening with my jaw dropped.

I don’t know what it is, but I have to say I have the knack for dragging juicy things out of people.  I’m like the next Oprah Winfrey.

He told me that he was approached by Time Magazine to write a book.  And being who I am, I encouraged him to do so and told him as I left the cab. . .

Me:  I’ll look out for your book.

ET:  You call me when my book comes out and I will sign it for you. (As he handed me a card with his contact info)

Me:  Absolutely.

And he gave me a kiss on the cheek.  And no matter how much of a dirty old man he seemed to be, I will always love the cheek kiss (must be the European in me).

And for all I know, all this could have been completely fabricated.

I’d rather not think so and enjoy the memory and experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *