1. “CAUGHT OUT” On an early afternoon in a London office we meet LINDA, who is currently sleeping with one of her clients behind the desk. The noise of a telephone interrupts the passionate couple; LINDA immediately jumps up, composers herself and goes to answer. Business is important to her everything else comes second. A bothered JAMES sits on the floor waiting in anticipation and makes a weak attempt to distract LINDA. She puts him in his place immediately and answers the phone in a professional manner.
2. “THE ARTIST” – Down a busy London street making a phone call, we see LEILA pulling a small suitcase. LEILA is a close friend and client of LINDA. From the length of time to answer LEILA knows she has just interrupted some extra curricular activity of LINDA’s. Questioning her friend on two points, why it took so long to answer and why she hasn’t heard anything from the organisers about the event she is heading for. Instinctively knowing the first answer, as this is not the first time it has happened, as they both know. Retorting sarcastically, LINDA assures her friend that all the details are confirmed and promises to send them to her as soon as she has finished her current appointment and hangs up. LEILA waves for a taxi. Back in the office, LINDA makes a quick note and turns around back to JAMES who is now in the process of getting dressed. Commenting on how he isn’t fully committing himself to the job at hand, pulling him back behind the desk.
3. “SECRET TO SUCESS” – We see the Frankfurt skyline in the background on a cloudy wet day. In a local taxi, a GERMAN BUSINESSMAN in his sixties and a visiting MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN discuss the secret to success in business, life and relationships. The taxi driver of Arab descent, SAMIR, is driving the two businessmen to their destination. He has a framed picture of the Virgin Mary on his dashboard. Noticing the heavy traffic building up on the road in front of him, SAMIR heads down a quicker but much bumper route, as the two businessmen continue to debate it is clear to see that the MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN doesn’t appreciate SAMIR’s chosen route.
4. “FLEXIBILITY” – Reaching the destination, SAMIR pulls his taxi in front of a tall office building. The GERMAN BUSINESSMAN compliments SAMIR on his efficient driving through the city and goes to pay the fare, showing a wallet of both Euros and Deutsche marks. Hearing this the MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN expresses his disapproval on the uncomfortable journey and insists he pays for the fare. He notices the picture of the Virgin Mary on the dashboard and makes a mocking comment about how this type of driving wouldn’t be acceptable in his homeland and how he must pay because he’s an Arab, as the two businessmen laugh they go to exit the taxi. As the GERMAN BUSINESSMAN holds the car door open for his associate, the MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN mocks SAMIR again on his driving and how he must need his guardian angel to watch over him. As the to two businessmen walk towards the entrance of the building SAMIR rolls his window down and shouts out how he would of taken Deutsche marks as the MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN gives SAMIR a passive gesture.
5. “AN EARLY NIGHT” – Hearing his mobile phone ringing and still irritated from his passengers preaching’s SAMIR answers without looking at who it is. Recognising the voice on the other end, his boss explains how someone hasn’t turned in to work and if he would mind covering the night shift. As he is doing his boss a favour SAMIR strikes a deal for more of the evenings commission that his boss reluctantly agrees to. Hanging up, SAMIR accepts a long evening ahead and sets off towards the rail station to pick up something to eat and maybe a long distance fare or two.
6. “EXPRESS CONVENIENCE” – At the Frankfurt airport we see LEILA running through the terminal with a panicked expression following the signs for the train platform, her German isn’t that good and her flight was delayed. Outside the train station, SAMIR pulls in to the third taxi rank position. This gives him time to pick up some dinner and something to drink from the nearby kiosk. Flying through the station, LEILA just makes it through the closing doors and onto the train as the automatic doors close shut. Out of breath LEILA sits next to a woman and baby. Gathering her composure from the short sprint through the terminal, LEILA looks at the baby on the woman’s shoulder smiling and smiles back in a trance. Snapping out of it LEILA checks the train map to check where to get off.
7. “QUEUE JUMPING” – We see SAMIR sat on the passenger side of the cab enjoying a tomato and mozzarella ciabatta, he watches a Sikh taxi driver and an Indian taxi driver talk enthusiastically. Walking through the train station and onto the taxi rank, LEILA looks around for her next mode of transportation. She sees the two taxi drivers waving their hands around and debating loudly and spots SAMIR’s taxi, the immaculately clean and well presented taxi acts as a beacon as she walks towards it ignoring the other two taxi drivers. As LEILA passes the taxi drivers one of them hails her, ignoring him she carries on. SAMIR notices LEILA heading his way and starts to wrap his dinner up. Suddenly the two-taxi driver’s start shouting at LEILA saying how there is a queue to follow, still in a rush she opens the door to SAMIR’s taxi and throws her luggage on the other passenger seat. LEILA hands SAMIR a hotel reservation card with the destination on, turning his engine on he pulls out of the taxi rank and past the two taxi drivers showing them a peace sign with his hand out of the window.
8. “THE JOURNEY” – Travelling down the autobahn SAMIR enquiries about her flight, he looks at the reservation card for a name, which says her stage name ‘Susan Ryans’ and addresses her as Miss Ryans for the journey. LEILA finishes applying lipstick, checking it with her pocket mirror before putting it back in the handbag. She explains how her flight was delayed and how much she dislikes airplane food, all the time trying to avoid eye contact with SAMIR in the rear view mirror. LEILA spots SAMIR’s taxi ID card on the dashboard as well as the Virgin Mary picture, commenting on how he has a nice name and asking him where he is from, SAMIR explains he is native to the Middle East but he grew up in Germany. As the two become more familiar with their history SAMIR finds out LEILA is in Frankfurt for business as a singer. On the journey to the hotel the two become closer and discuss the culture of countries they grew up in.
9. “DEJA VU” – As taxi passes the Frankfurt skyline we approach LEILA’s destination. Pulling up to a hotel just around the corner from his earlier fare SAMIR looks around for the rude passenger. LEILA gets out of the taxi and goes to the front passenger window and thanks SAMIR for such a pleasant journey. SAMIR passes his business card to LEILA and offers a personal driving service if she needs it during her stay in Frankfurt thanking him LEILA asks how much it is to get a drink around the area, hinting about how much he would like as a tip. As the two briefly discuss tipping culture LEILA thanks SAMIR again and heads towards the hotel.
10. “LATE CHECK IN” – Walking through the lobby of the hotel towards the reception area LEILA notices the RECEPTIONIST sat behind the front desk. The RECEPTIONIST stands up to greet her in German, LEILA introduces herself and apologises that she can’t speak German and explains that she is late to check in because her flight was delayed. She gives the RECEPTIONIST her real name and the reservation name of ‘Susan Ryans’. Checking through LEILA’s passport the RECEPTIONIST spots the necklace LEILA has on which has Muslim iconography on it. After confirming LEILA’s details the RECEPTIONIST explains about the room she will be staying in and apologises that it doesn’t have much of a view. LEILA explains that she isn’t bothered as she will be out for the most part of her trip. The RECEPTIONIST offers to show LEILA her room, as the two head towards the staircase MISS HAASE another guest in the hotel comes pacing down the stairs dressed in a nightgown and in a frantic manner. She explains that the chanting from her neighbour is still too loud. Aware of this problem from earlier in the evening, the RECEPTIONIST agrees to investigate again, it just happens to be across the hall from where LEILA’s room is. All three women head upstairs towards the second floor, MISS HAASE leading the way.
11. “THE PROBLEM” – On the second floor the three women head towards LEILA’s room and to the room with the disturbance. MISS HAASE points out the noise, which is a low Islamic chanting coming from room 208. The chanting is so quiet it can only be heard clearly right next to the door, MISS HAASE is clearly more upset that the chanting is Islamic than a noise disturbance. Picking up on this LEILA can see the RECEPTIONIST doesn’t know how to handle this problem. The RECEPTIONIST hands LEILA her room key and instructs her to get comfortable, heading towards her room she waits in the entrance watching the two women. MISS HAASE observes the RECEPTIONIST and waits for her to take action, who is clearly uncomfortable about disturbing the guest in room 208. Watching the RECEPTIONIST hesitate to knock on the door LEILA walks over to it knocks on it, much to the surprise of the two women.
12. “THE SOLUTION” – The door to room 208 sharply opens, a short elderly man stands in the entrance clearly not happy that he has been disturbed. MISS HAASE gives the elderly man a curious look; in an impatience manner he looks at LEILA and asks how he can help. LEILA introduces herself as the elderly man retorts with the same question noticing the Muslim iconography on LEILA’s necklace. At this point MISS HAASE heads back in to her room, happy that the situation is being dealt with and that its just a frail old man. LEILA explains that everything is alright and tells him if he needs anything to just knock on her door, finishing the conversation with a courteous smile and wink. The elderly man smiles back at LEILA and thanks her, offering the same back to LEILA. Clearly still irritated by the situation he closes the door.
13. “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” – With a look of excitement on her face, the RECEPTIONIST is very happy that everything has been resolved. For her efforts the RECEPTIONIST offers LEILA something to eat and drink on the hotel. LEILA orders a cheese sandwich on a German roll and a sparkling water, needing something fresh to counteract all the junk that was on the flight. After a short while a sturdy three knocks are heard at the door, LEILA opens the door to find the waiter with her sandwich. Sitting down to eat her sandwich, she thinks back on how it’s been a calamitous night apart from the journey to the hotel. Pondering on the conversation with SAMIR’s about being good at French but not being able to speak the language. As the moment hits her, a smile starts to form on LEILA’s face; putting her sandwich on the side with haste she leaves the hotel room.
14. “DRUNKEN OPINION” – Driving down a side street in Frankfurt, SAMIR looks out for his next fare noticing a man outside a bar waving his hand, he indicates and pulls over. Getting into the rear of the taxi he stumbles on to the passenger seat, it is clear he has been drinking. SAMIR asks him where he’d like to go while the DRUNK composes himself instantly spotting the picture of the Virgin Mary. The DRUNK requests the local Mosque, defensively explaining that he doesn’t pray there he just lives around the corner laughing as he finishes. Surprised by his laughter SAMIR plays along and asks him what’s funny. The DRUNK explains that he has nothing against Muslims but he doesn’t trust them in numbers, on their own they are fine. He thinks every Mosque should be made transparent so he can see what’s going on. SAMIR is insulted by the comment but doesn’t show it. Noticing SAMIR’s features the DRUNK asks him where he is from, SAMIR chooses to mock him and tells him he is from the fictitious Schangifistan but grew up in Frankfurt. Not wanting to lose face on the situation, the DRUNK confirms that he has heard of it.
15. “MAKING THE CALL” – Back at the hotel, LEILA stands inside the entrance to the hotel with SAMIR’s scrunched up business card in one hand and her mobile phone in the other. Calling SAMIR she gets the answer phone and hangs up. Disappointed, LEILA slowly heads back into the lobby, just as she does her phone starts to ring, answering it immediately. She introduces herself again much to SAMIR’s delight. LEILA asks if the offer of a personal driver is still available, agreeing SAMIR explains he will be over within the next ten minutes. Hanging up LEILA smiles to herself.
16. “GREAT CONVERSATION” – Reaching the DRUNKS destination, he pays and leaves a small tip. Turning around SAMIR heads towards the hotel. Waiting outside the hotel front LEILA looks out for SAMIR’s taxi, spotting it in the distance a discreet smile appears on LEILA’s face. Greeting LEILA through the half open car window SAMIR addresses her as ‘Miss Ryans’, she greets him back and insists that he call her LEILA. As she gets in the front passenger seat, SAMIR comments on how beautiful her name is, the two start to reminisce over the great conversation they had earlier in the evening. Catching SAMIR off guard, LEILA asks what time he finishes tonight, enquiring if it was an invitation. As the midnight bell rings in the distance the two smile to each other. SAMIR asks LEILA where she’d like to go, she suggests it’s his town and to surprise her.
17. “TIMEOUT” – Heading through the city streets of Frankfurt SAMIR puts some music on, a song called ‘Baladi’ by French singer Dalida. LEILA comments on how beautiful the song is and brings up how SAMIR seems to be quite specialised in French. Staying cool SAMIR explains that Dalida translates to ‘Egyptian Baby’. We see SAMIR and LEILA smiling as the taxi passes through the streets of Frankfurt. As the credits roll the song ‘Baladi’ plays as the MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESSMAN is being arrested half naked and handcuffed to MISS HAASE.
– THE END –