New exhibition takes a ride through Melbourne's taxi history

While you might only talk to them for five minutes, the relationship between taxi drivers and passengers is unique.

Tansa Eid drove cabs in Melbourne for 30 years. After migrating from Lebanon in 1966, Mr Eid decided to get behind the wheel. He had no idea how his experiences would shape not only his life, but also his daughter’s life.

During his three decades as a taxi driver, one passenger stood out: an older woman who was one of his regulars.

“She used to have a little glass of whiskey with her and nip on it all the way,” Mr Eid laughed. "She was a lovely lady.”

When Tansa's daughter was born, his favourite passenger came to the christening. It's a story his daughter, Christine, loves to tell.

“She actually hand-knitted a cardigan for me, and she actually came along to my christening and gave me a babushka,” Christine said.

“It was actually my most treasured possession for many, many years."

This story and others stayed with Christine, now an artist. Her latest exhibition, , is centred on the history of Melbourne taxis.

Christine said she was particularly interested in the “unique relationship” between driver and passenger.

“Essentially you have strangers that are thrust in this confined space,” she said.

“Trust plays a big part of the negotiation between the driver and the passenger, and it’s so easy for there to be misunderstanding.

“Things like the way that one might look at one and other… can very easily throw off the relationship.”

2 min read
Published 27 June 2014 at 9:02pm
By Ella Archibald-Binge