Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article about a passenger who missed a flight to Uganda because the Muslim taxi driver had to stop to pray on the way to the airport. The driver’s version of what happened differs somewhat from the passenger’s.
The translated article from Dagbladet (BI is ‘Norwegian Business School’):
BI professor missed his plane because taxi driver wanted to pray
“I was completely gob-smacked.”
On January 31, BI professor, Øystein Noreng was scheduled to fly to Uganda. He hailed a taxi to take him to Gardermoen (Oslo Airport), but en route the taxi driver pulled over onto the shoulder of the E6, stepped out of the car and started to pray. Because of the delay Noreng missed his flight, writes VG.
“I was absolutely gob-smacked. It was like a movie. The driver suddenly pulls over onto the shoulder of the road near Jessheim, opens up the trunk, takes out his prayer rug and puts on his prayer hat. He then rolls out the rug in front of the car and starts to pray. The prayer break lasted for ten minutes,” says Øystein Noreng to VG.
The driver, however, has a different version of events.
“I did my duty as a Muslim to Allah. The passenger informed me that he had to be dropped off at the airport before 0720. I told him that he could get another taxi, as I had to pray before sunrise and that sunrise would occur before we arrived at Gardermoen. I told him that I was going to make it before 0720. He was happy with that. We arrived at the airport at 0711.”
The prayer took no more than four or five minutes, says the taxi driver.
Noreng chose to pay for the trip when they arrived at the airport and ran into at the terminal. At the check in gate he was informed that check-in had closed two minutes ago.
“I was flying business class and was put on a later flight, but I had to fly via Istanbul. I was originally scheduled to arrive at 2300, but instead I arrived at 5 o’clock in the morning,” says Noreng.
The owner of the taxi told VG that this was the second time that this has happened with this particular driver and that the driver is no longer working for him anymore. He is still working for Oslo Taxi, but for a different taxi owner.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.