A Lecture From My Uber Driver

Berkeley has been the site of a great deal of commotion throughout the years since the Free Speech Movement began, and it seems especially so in the last few weeks. During the Ben Shapiro event and “Free Speech Week,” hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for a vast security force to ensure the safety of speakers, protesters, and passersby alike. Students were advised to stay indoors and avoid Sproul plaza. Disregarding the politics of it all, Berkeley was looking out for its students. 

Additionally, the nation has been in a state shock following the largest mass shooting in its history. This past Sunday, a terrorist opened fire on a concert audience in Las Vegas, killing over 50 people and injuring over 200 more. In addition to mourning this tragedy, I believe that the Berkeley community in particular has been on edge in regards to these events, disturbed by a general air of discomfort and danger.

On Friday, I was alone when I got into the car of the wrong Uber driver. I neglected to note the model, color, and license plate of the car, and nodded unsurely when the driver tried to confirm my name in quiet, unintelligible speech. After traveling a few hundred feet, the confusion was cleared up: this was not the correct Uber. I apologized to the driver and got out as quickly as I could, looking for the right car. 

Opening the door of a car that matched the description on my app, I asked for Sidd. He affirmed his identity, and said he saw me get into the wrong car. “You are very lucky that that car was another Uber. It could have been a random person who could have taken you away. Women, especially, have to be very careful.” I listened to his lecture which included horror stories about women who were less lucky, and while thoroughly embarrassed, was extremely appreciative of his concern. People, women in particular, should always be cautious of their surroundings and wary for their own personal safety, but it is important to remember that there are others looking out for each other as well. No one is on her own.

When we arrived at my destination, I wished Sidd a good night, got out, and later tipped him three dollars for the five dollar ride.