You Can Always Go Home with Uber
A home is more than just bricks and mortar. Home, as they say, is where the heart is. For driver-partner Mukhtar, who has been driving with Uber for 6 months, home is where he had some of his fondest memories growing up.
As a teen back in 1965, Mukhtar would spend his days at home on Mosque Street, playing on the roof with friends or sleeping near the window ledge in hopes of seeing a girl he had a crush on. The bus stop where he’d wait for the bus to go to school, the coffee shop at the back alley of his home, and the scrap metal shop across the street… all these and more were indelibly etched in his memories, whenever he reminisced about his earlier years.
Then, 50 years later, he picked up Uber rider Hazel… at the exact location where he grew up. In fact, they even lived in the same block, on the same floor! Amazed at this chance encounter, Hazel reached out to Uber to invite Mukhtar into her home, to relive his good ol’ days.
So, we arranged for Hazel and Mukhtar to meet each other again at their home on Mosque Street, where they spent the afternoon strolling down memory lane.
Meeting each other again
Hazel: Hi! So nice to see you again!
Mukhtar: Hello! Thank you for inviting me today!
Hazel: No, no, thank you Uber for arranging this. Would you like to head on upstairs and have a look?
Entering the lift lobby
Mukhtar: Wow – The staircase never changed! It used to be concrete, instead of these wooden handles. But it is exactly the same.
Hazel: Let’s take the stairs, shall we? The same stairs that you probably went up and down numerous times!
Reaching Level 2:
Hazel: So, this area must be new… the jacuzzi here and the plants?
Mukhtar: Yes! This used to be where the shared kitchen was. It was shared by all the families who lived here and it was dirty! Some days, one family would clean the kitchen, while another family would clean on other days. But, there were also some families who didn’t even bother! Those who bothered to clean the kitchen felt it was unfair that others didn’t, so after a while, everyone stopped cleaning the kitchen and it remained very dirty!
Entering Hazel’s apartment:
Hazel: You can keep your shoes on. I do that – I’m very English.
Mukhtar: (laughs) Yes. So much has changed now. Last time, this area had gangsters, snatch thieves, and other crimes! We were given these rooms for free by the government, as my father was a Customs officer – not one of those high ranking officers, just a normal custom officer. We were given two rooms here. Your apartment is big! Your apartment is the same size as 3 of our very small rooms.
Mukhtar: Oh my God! They never change this too! The wooden window! This is the same window – still the old one! I used to sleep on this ledge here. These windows weren’t here before. And the main reason I do that was because I liked this Malay girl who would walk past here every day. So I was here every day to look at her! (Laughs) But no, sadly, I didn’t get her in the end.
Mukhtar: When Uber told me that you wanted me to show me around your apartment, I was so happy and excited, and I told my wife! I wanted to bring her here today too!
Hazel: How could I not? One of the reasons I wanted to show you around was because my parents still live in the UK, in the same house that I was brought up in. and I thought to myself if one day when we no longer live there and I happen to drive past it and if the current owners asked if I would like to see it, I would be so touched and would love to do so.
Mukhtar: Hazel, actually I want to invite you to my new place to have a look at the place I live in now. Will you be okay with that? I can come pick you up from here and then we go over to my current place to have a look and a meal with my family.
Hazel: I would love to! Come, this is my name card and that is my personal mobile number. Please feel free to drop me messages or call me! I would love to see where you live now!
In that moment, we saw how an unforgettable friendship was formed entirely based on an unexpected ride back.
Indeed, there’s no place like home.
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