I don't know how many times Mr Noor has heard me say 'One day I will learn how to make a ladylike entrance into your taxi!' Usually this comment is made after flopping, in a very unladylike fashion, onto the back seat having thrown my handbag before me, if I swing it right, or dragging it in behind me if I happen to be carrying my laptop as well. (Where I currently undertake a spot of voluntary work it is often easier to take my own laptop).
Adding to my taxi entrance issues is the fact that I can not stand sitting beside the door of a taxi because I suffer from motion sickness. Vehicles these days have head rests on the front seats and, though they may protect the driver and a front seat passenger from whiplash should there be an incident, all they do for me sitting in back is limit my vision and make me car sick. So it is necessary for me to scooch over to the middle of the back seat where I can get an unencumbered view of the road ahead. Scooching with black abaya, large handbag and laptop could probably be done with grace for graceful people. Me and Grace don't really got on that well!
Scooching usually results in the blessed black garment being pulled taut under my rather ample rear end. The tautness is not only uncomfortable but has often pulled me off balance so I'm sitting lopsidedly. Rearranging myself requires standing, as much as one can in the back of the taxi, and either sweeping the abaya out from beneath me (if I'm hot and bothered) so most of the garment is laying out on the seat beside me or re-organizing it properly for comfort and decorum. The first method tends to expose my legs because, to date, I still wear shorts beneath my abaya. My current predisposition to hot flushes, (and I can't decide if the cause of said flashes are menopausal or thyroidal or both), makes the wearing of more acceptable lengthy, modest yet heat creating attire an extremely a bad idea!
My final act of settling into my seat is ensuring the flow of cool air is heading my way from the air conditioner. Mr Noor's taxi has an aircon vent at the back of the middle console so that beautiful cool air is directed onto my legs right where I'm sitting, and it's bliss! (Newer taxis only have air-con in the front, and if the driver is switched on to 'Woman Looking Hot and Bothered' he will turn the air-con up and re-arrange the vents to be sending air toward the back seat. I don't find this an ideal situation at all! Given this place is hot most of the time, taxi companies ought to be more considerate of their clientele and have air-con in back, not be cheapskates with their choice of taxi car!)
If I'm in a strange taxi (ie, not with Mr Noor) I will pay more attention to covering of my leg flesh with my abaya for the length of the journey. For some reason Strange Taxi Drivers find exposed leg flesh has a certain allure and they spend a lot of their time attempting to get a look at it once they realize how badly I wear my abaya and how little is worn beneath it! Given my legs are akin to tree stumps, sometimes complete with unshaven growth, I can only presume Strange Taxi Men are terribly desperate, uncouth types. Mr Noor has been driving me around for a rather long time and is used to my carry on in the back seat so ignores it, plus he is too much of a gentleman to act so despicably.
If my efforts getting into the taxi make the well bred cringe, my struggles getting out would make them pack up and go home. Scooching back towards the door requires fighting with abaya. Fights with the abaya are not pretty. There was a time when, being young, nimble and lithe, exiting vehicles was quick and effortless. Those days are long gone. Now one has to heave oneself out of the back seat, usually after having exposed leg flesh to put ones feet on the ground, while attempting to keep said door open and while trying to get large handbags and any other packages one might have accumulated over the day, to co-operate with my desire to leave the taxi. Exit strategies are often accompanied by the comment, 'One day I"ll learn how to get out of your taxi in a ladylike fashion, Mr Noor.' He smiles the kind of smile that says, 'That day is a long ways off!'