Trip To Richmond

Last Sunday I was traveling to Richmond for work.  If you had read my previous travel posts you would know how much I detest work travel on the weekends, but when work demands travel the options are often limited.

I landed around 9:30 PM and stepped out in the open waiting for my rideshare to arrive. The weather was mild, and a gentle breeze graced the beautiful evening. The wait wasn’t long and soon I saw my ride arriving by the curb.

My first encounter with the driver was not encouraging. His trunk was loaded with metal, my bag somehow found its spot in the crowded space, the car back seat was folded, forcing me to take the front seat, and the music was not of my taste, blaring loud enough to disturb the tranquility of the serene evening. I hesitantly took my seat, adjusting my handbag between my legs, as he drove towards the hotel.

After I settled down, I observed many things that were intriguing. There was an additional glaring speedometer with big dial attached to the top left driver’s side window, a segment of many reflecting mirrors occupied the top of the windshield, and a 9.7 inch iPad covered the center panel. My curiosity got the best out of me and I asked him casually about the speedometer.

He smiled and said he had converted the Hyundai Sonata to a racing car. Though the appearance suggested otherwise, he was extremely polite and very courteous. He asked me if it was ok for me to deal with a small demonstration of what he meant. I nodded and I saw the real power of the car. It made all the noise of a racing beast and the car zoomed past, pushing me back into my seat. Before I could react he enquired about my music taste. I mentioned Rock Music. He smiled and probed, what about Bollywood. I didn’t know an American would know much about Bollywood, but he surprised me again. He played love ballads, to cheeky songs, he played famous romantic duets to the latest numbers. More so, he had the lyrics on and he tried lip syncing to a few. And then he shocked me – as he turned on the volume. The music blasted from the custom speakers. Apparently, the metal in the trunk was the woofers.

I was at awe and he amazed me more when he mentioned that he had a YouTube channel with half a million followers. He had a camera in the car where he records the passenger with music, talk, and everything and posts those videos on YouTube. He was making 5-6 grand a month from the social channel.

The ride turned out to be one of the most enjoyable ones, transforming my gloomy Sunday evening to a memorable trip. At the age of 23, Jay was earning over 10 grand and living life by his terms.

Here is a shout out to you Jay. Stay happy and blessed.

Copyright © Shantanu Baruah

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50 thoughts on “Trip To Richmond”

  1. Great. It would be wonderful to see you in one of his videos on you tube. Plus I feel people in the West are pretty adventurous and experiment a lot. They don’t have a 24*7 cautious living.That’s what I get from all the TV viewing about them. And that is the real thrill of being alive!

    Liked by 1 person

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