After an evening of drinking at a beer festival is not perhaps the best time to be writing this blog but circumstances force my hand.
After the party, for that is essentially what a beer festival is, I took a taxi home. I have an interest in taxi drivers. I have alway felt that they are a good indicator of opinions so alway ask them, how is business, where are you from etc etc. And tonight was no exception. So my driver is Turkish. No surprise there, Turkish drives are common in Vienna. He has been here for 27 years. But now he has enough. Austrian are, he says, 90% racist. He bases this not only on his lifetime experience but what occurred 10 minutes prior to our meeting. It seems that an Austrian couple had refused to get into the taxi at the front of the queue on the basis that the drive was black, telling him that he should go back to his own country. They then approached the next taxi, subsequently my driver, who refused to take them, and told them to take the first in the queue. An “altercation” ensued resulting in the police being called who, it seems supported the Austrian racists. Fortunately the incident was defused resulting in my drive with the Turk.
Should I be shocked? Probably not. I am old and understand both points of view. I continued my conversation which revealed that my driver was a muslim. No surprise there, most Turks are, but his Islam was far from the Islam expounded by ISIL, or the Ayatollahs. How can one religion encompass so many different interpretations? I really need to find out.