So far, most people are coming to realize the following about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath: It was (and is) very, very bad. And it didn’t have to be so. Everybody is pointing fingers, everybody has questions, everybody wants answers. Here’s what the cabbies think.
Karma Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Bhutan Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: Photo shop clerk
I don’t know. It’s very hard to say. If the government wanted to save [the city], I think that they could do it. It seems like they aren’t really trying. It’s mostly the poor people who were left behind. It’s very bad. Now they’re calling for help from people. It is very late now though.
Jarabe Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Nigeria Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: College student
Yeah, it’s terrible, awful — you see all the looting and the flooding and the people dying. I don’t know. It’s very awful. I think maybe now President Bush is doing the right thing, but before it was very slow. It is terrible down there. Sanjit Where I hailed him: Murray Hill Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 7 Previous profession: Printing shop
I watch the television and say ‘is this happening here?’ How is it that this happens here? All the money, such a rich country and for this to happen. The planning is very bad, and now I hear that the army is so slow because so many are in Iraq. How can something like this happen? I do not understand it. It is now, five, six days and it is still like this — why so slowly?
Mohammed Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 4 Previous profession: Restaurant work
It is the way — because the people there are the very poor. They have no power, no way out — if they were the rich, they would have helped. What noise will these people make, they think — nothing — and so they will move slow with the rescues. No hurry. It is the way always, everywhere you look.
Almar Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: Salesman
It’s very bad. Two weeks ago, I fill up the tank for $25. After the hurricane, I fill up for 50. If it keeps on like this I am stopping driving. Govind Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Police officer in India
How horrible. I hear about the violence and the looting and feel very bad for the police there. I never experienced anything similar. But an angry crowd... there is nothing worse. And it is spread through the whole city, with all the flooding and the damage. My heart — it goes out to those guys. The job must be very difficult.
Mian Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Student
What can I say. It was a horrible natural disaster. The only thing I can compare it to is 9/11. I took a fare there that day as it was happening, and I didn’t realize until after I had dropped him off what had happened. I hope he was ok. Afterwards, it took six or seven months for things to get back to normal. I definitely noticed a decrease in business. I feel for everyone in New Orleans. And here, two weeks ago, I was paying $2.25 for gas. Now, in some places it is $3.60. It is very hard on us drivers