Taxi Driver: Why Do We Die?


The weirdest conversation I’ve ever had with a cab driver in Lima… So weird that I had to blog about it.

(Pic: jmerelo @Flickr)

 

If you have lived in Lima your whole life, one thing we all notice is that taxi drivers tend to get very talkative sometimes. Whenever they do, God, they DO talk. What they say is usually considered the ‘vox populi’ of the city, since they are part of a very representative working mass.

On Friday, however, I kind of got worried by what I heard. Three minutes before getting to my destination, the taxi driver went all existentialist on me.

Why do we die?

Yes, he had to pop that question:

– Miss, if someone were to ask you the reason why we die, what would you say?

– [WTF?-face for around 5 seconds] I’d say it’s part of our biological configuration; we’re beings with celular structures that regenerate within a limit.

– What? Uhm, yeah, that too. But why do we have to be like that? Because you know, what makes us die eventually… You know the answer, you just don’t remember it.

– Oh really?

– Yes. Even kids know what the answer is. Sometimes people forget it because of work, their studies and errands they run every day. Do you remember that back when Adam and Eve were created, God told them not to eat from the apple tree?

– Yes…

– Remember what he told them?

– That they wouldn’t be immortal anymore? [felt proud of remembering that]

– Yes! The only reason why we die is because we drag our ancestors’ curse. God made us that way.

– Oh, yes, you’re right. Here’s my stop. Thanks!

– I knew you would remember it, Miss. Good night.

Thing is I’m very respectful of people’s beliefs. I would have never tried to counter-argument his statement because it’s a religious-related thing, but I did notice that he attributed people’s “oblivion” to work and studies. Therefore, one conclusion is that education and work has led us to the wrong answer about what has only been explained thanks to research and hard work: death.

Sure, we never really think about those issues right? Why we live or die is just a nature thing that nobody objects or talks about as if it was soccer or every-day news. Since that conversation, though, I wonder if the ‘vox populi’ in Lima is that we, human beings, die as a heritage from Adam and Eve. Maybe. I felt more out of place than ever before that night.

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