Revisiting our 2017 episode on ridesharing.
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One of the things I have always loved about being a reporter is the license it gives you to ask strangers personal questions. 

When I covered political campaigns, my favorite part of the beat was introducing myself to people in shopping center parking lots and on street corners to ask them how they were feeling about America. That open question often led to layered and nuanced conversations about their anxieties, frustrations and hopes. I got energy from these connections, from learning about how other people are experiencing our communities, and how they're getting by. I actually pitched this show as a way to get to have more of those conversations without having to justify them with the backdrop of an election.

And I treasure those opportunities now more than ever, as my personal life has a smaller and smaller orbit. Because frankly, when you have little kids, you don't get out much. I have fewer opportunities to strike up conversation with people who aren't coworkers or fellow preschool parents. 

Except...when I have to get in a car to go somewhere, and I notice a driver who's striking up eye contact in the rearview mirror. That's where I get my fix these days of chitchat with strangers. I like trading details about our families, talking about how the Bay Area is changing, and complaining about the cost of housing together. You can learn a lot in 15 to 25 minute conversation spurts. 

That was the inspiration for this week's episode, which we first released in 2017 and are sharing with you again this week. Producer Katie Bishop and I got into Uber after Uber with a bunch of recording equipment, asked our drivers if they wanted to talk for a podcast, and let the tape roll. It's one of my favorite episodes—I hope you enjoy it. 

Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money
Earlier this year, California passed a law that regulates how companies can employ contract workers, giving them protections so they are treated more like permanent employees. Lots of different businesses will be affected, but particularly ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. And it made me think about an episode we put out in 2017, when producer Katie Bishop and I took our microphones along on a bunch of Uber rides all around the Bay Area to find out what made people start driving for the company. So this week, we're revisiting those conversations: you'll hear about money, competition from other drivers and how people spend their long hours driving and waiting for rides. They also told us about domestic violence, grave plot sales, and the long ripples of the financial crisis. And we heard why one Pakistani driver has decided it's better to not talk to his passengers. 
Your Stories: Race And Friendship
We've really loved reading your emails and listening to your voice memos about the moments when race has been a flashpoint in your friendships. This past weekend, we heard from a listener named Ankanaa. She's an Indian woman living in Canada, and told us that race has always played a part in her friendships—particularly with white people. She told us about one moment from when she was younger that still sticks with her:
"When I was in a summer camp I used to go to every summer, I was comparing makeup with one of my friends. She took her foundation bottle and kind of looked at me in this weird way, and she said, 'I'm not as dark as you, am I? Like, this foundation color isn't as dark as yours, right?' And I remember first of all just being kind of awestruck and being like, did she just ask me that? But moreso, feeling pain from that question, and not really understanding where that pain was coming from. At the time I was probably 13 and didn't really understand why it hurt, or why it struck a nerve so deeply within. Now that I'm older, I definitely get it.

When these microaggressions happen in friendships with white folks, it causes almost like a tectonic shift
I feel like that's what friendships are, that you're just these two tectonic plates that are perfectly aligned, everything is level, everything is unified. And then that one thing happens that becomes a force that creates this huge crevice, and there's this split. And for me, even though that split, when it happens, is so painful, it's also a huge gift to me. And the reason why is because it shows me who true allies are and who aren't." 
—Ankanaa, 22, Toronto
It's not too late to send in your own stories about race and friendship! We've heard from a lot of black women and white women, but we'd particularly love to hear from men and other people of color. Record a voice memo or send an email to

Listen to This: Audio We Love

California is one of five states that doesn't strip law enforcement officers of their licences if they have engaged in serious misconduct. On this week's episode of the Reveal podcast, investigative reporter Robert Lewis talks about using public records to build a list of 630 California cops convicted of crimes in the past decade, and why the state's attorney general went so far as to threaten him with prosecution for having it. "It seems like one more example of a kind of special treatment for police that happens all over the country," says host Al Letson, "where public employees who can legally take a member of the public's life get to keep their worst behavior private."

And if you're not listening to Dolly Parton's America, what are you waiting for? A new project from the brains behind Radiolab, the show digs into how Dolly became Dolly, and what her widespread appeal tells us about the things we have in common as a country. Definitely start from the beginning of the series, but we're going to put in a special plug for episode 2, all about Dolly's relationship with Porter Wagoner and their rift that led her to write "I Will Always Love You."
Pssttt...a little update on the Death, Sex & Money phone wallet.

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