Lyft Drivers of Lately
Ahmad left his home in Kabul in 2021, when the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan. He and his family left in one of those big US Army cargo planes with no seats. They spent a few weeks in Abu Dhabi, then two months in New Mexico before settling in Phoenix, though his wife wants to move to Virginia where it is more green (he chuckles). His kids like their school here, though, and they all like their friends, one of whom helped Ahmad get his license and is helping him with English. Ahmad was a taxi driver in Kabul, so becoming a Lyft driver in Phoenix hasn’t been too hard. His eyes dart back to me often in the rearview mirror, watching what I say closely while weaving his way down the long road.
Krystal is a phlebotomist who teaches phlebotomy. She grips her bubblegum pink steering wheel and tells me if she could go anywhere, she would go to the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, known for their ‘pimpish history.’ But Krystal does not have much time right now because she recently had to sell her house and is driving for Lyft in order to make rent on the new place while still taking care of her kids. She just got her son a job at a medical center, and that’s going well, but she’s worried that her daughter is too invested in her boyfriend. “You really have to look out for yourself,” she says, and then asks if I carry a knife with me. Krystal’s voice bounces between topics and struggles to keep a high enough pitch above the radio, but her care and concern are the through-line of our coversation. We arrive and she swiftly jumps out of the car to help me unload my luggage, and then she surprises me with a strong hug and a sturdy look before she bounces back into her car and rolls away, leaving a trail of pop music to tumble playfully out her window.