They say music is the universal language… Which doesn’t really mean anything because music isn’t really a language when you think about it. And that’s pretty insulting to the deaf. And our first cabbie, Sow, never listens to music. Ever. Anyway, here’s what some other cabbies listen to.
Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 5 Previous profession: Maintenance
I listen only to the news. No music. The 1010 WINS. Sometimes I am listening to the Yankees. Sometimes to the other sports. Most always it is the 1010 WINS. [Ed. Aw, C’mon, you’ve got to listen to some music, no?] No, no music. I do not listen to the music.
Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Bangladesh Years as a cabbie: 4 Previous profession: Car service
Right now I am listening to 103.5. You like it? [Ed. Mohammed cranks some power pop.] It’s not bad. Also I listen to the Z-100. [Ed. Looks like you have a tape in there — what’s that all about?] Oh, that is from India! Some Indian classical music. It’s really nice. Reminds me of my country. Bangladesh is not India, but we have similar music. Yes, I also listen to music from Bangladesh. But not so much lately. I’ve been liking my Indian tapes more.
Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Senegal Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Teacher
Classical music. The great composers. Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak, Mahler, Liszt. I listen to 96.3 a lot. Mozart is my favorite though. I wish I had the money to see more performances at the symphony. I grew up listening to the New York Philharmonic, and now I’m here and I can only afford to see them once a year.
Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: Haiti Years as a cabbie: “Not too long.”
I listen to the news. I don’t listen to music very much. The music that I listen to is campa — it is like black merengue. It is from Haiti. You can get it out in Brooklyn and in Queens — and in Manhattan, over by 47th and Broadway there is a store. [Then, belying his claim that he doesn’t listen to music much, he pulls out a black case filled with CDs at a stop light and starts flipping through the plastic sheets of CDs, pointing them out and naming them as he goes.] Oh, there are so many.
KAMEL Where I hailed him: Murray Hill Where he hails from: Algeria Years as a cabbie: 14 Previous profession: Waiter
I listen to many kinds of music. I have no preference really. Good music — that is the only kind of music that I am interested in. I am always listening to the radio when I drive. I don’t get tired of the songs because I don’t pay enough attention to it to have any songs I hate. This station — I believe it is 104.3 — I always listen to this station. It is like a rock station. Sometimes also I listen to Algerian music.
Where I hailed him: LES Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 18 Previous profession: Grocer
During the nighttime, I like to listen mostly to the news. When I drive during the day I listen to something that is soft, that makes you calm — there are some jazz stations that I will listen to during the day. It is good because it makes you more relaxed with all the traffic and the people. Sometimes I will bring music, but almost always I listen to the radio. It is easier. It always changes, it is always something different coming on.