Usually No to Foreigners

The other day I jumped in a taxi and asked if he could take Ellie and me to a certain street. The conversation happened in Thai and the driver said, “Sure, I can take you there.” Once in the taxi, the driver proceeded to tell me his woes with taking foreigners.

Tourists: Don’t know where they are going and don’t speak any Thai.

Many foreigners: Speak some basic Thai, enough to get around. The problem is that they often say street names or numbers just a little bit incorrectly. This man then told me how frustrating it is to drive them as he is uncertain if he will get them to the right place. He doesn’t want the foreigners to get upset at him for driving around aimlessly, or going to the wrong place. So his normal policy is just to tell all foreigners no.

This taxi driver was quite vocal about his opinions regarding transporting foreigners around. I think that I was the first foreigner he was confident to drive for as he clearly understood where I wanted to go. He told me over and over again how good my Thai was and then chatted the entire drive.

This just reminds me that even if we might be afraid of something, like driving foreigners, we should still be open to the opportunity. The taxi driver didn’t just see me and keep driving, instead he stopped and listened before saying no. This opportunity gave him the chance to take me. We all need to keep giving ourselves opportunities to break out of what we normally say no to.

What things do you normally shy away from doing?

2 thoughts on “Usually No to Foreigners

  1. That;s fascinating that the driver would openly share his bias with you. Such a comment would provoke a lot of anger and claims of racism back here.

    It’s wonderful that all your hard work on learning Thai (I read yours and Andy’s FB posts about it) are paying off in such a tangible way. God is in the details. I can only expect he’s going to continue to use that effort to open more doors in ministry.

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