He decelerated to the side lane and she stepped out. He watched her try to stop one of the running taxis, and she watched him with a cornered eye until a taxi stopped, one with an aged driver. She was happy to have met an old man on the driver’s seat. Old men didn’t have the strength to talk all through the ride and ask those questions that every black man she met for the first time asked. If at all the old men wanted to talk, they would not count their words and speak with such English that was too careful to be correct. The old men would speak with the local pidgin, whether she understood or not, providing she paid them their fare at the end of the ride. But the good thing the old and young cabmen had in common was their eagerness to continue driving after dropping her off. They didn’t look at her with a countenance that asked for a huge tip. They would simply tuck their pay in their breast pockets and continue driving, unless the days she left some change with them. In those days, they would almost stare at her, voicelessly telling her she had done something so alien, even to come from a foreigner. And after the stare, they would smile with gaping teeth and thank her.
She entered the front seat. The taxi fled. Jide’s car moved.