As is seemingly the norm in Vancouver’s West End, when you need a taxi, one can never be found; when you don’t need a taxi, they’re everywhere.
A few nights ago in an attempt to make my way to Gastown, I flagged down a yellow car, hopped in and gave the driver the address. “Oh you made my night – you are such a coyote!”
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“Oops, my bad. I mean cutie – I always get those mixed up. I’m just so happy to have a coyote in my cab…ah I mean cutie!”
He then asked me where I worked; I told him at a law firm. He asked if I was a lawyer and I responded in the negative. He informed me that I should “give a big tip” then because he is putting his son through law school. He asked if I would get his son a job as an articled student at my firm.
All highly inappropriate comments to make.
Photo: 09traveler on Flickr
As he inched his way down Davie to Burrard, he asked which street I’d like to take to Cordova. I told him it didn’t matter, as long as he took the fastest route. “No, ma’am, you’re the passenger so it’s your choice.”
“I really don’t care. Take Burrard then.” He ticked his finger no, pointed at the clock and informed me that it was 5:57 p.m. so it would be an illegal turn. But he did it anyways.
Traffic wasn’t bad, so for no apparent reason, he decided to resume the 27 km/hr speed he clocked on Davie Street. “Uh, can you go a little faster, please?” He refused, insisting that this was a safe speed. “Sure, but I’m the one paying for the cab ride and I’d like to go the speed limit.”
“Oh, no ma’am I can’t do that. But I will get you to Gastown.”
“Fine, but I only have $13 in my wallet so don’t say I didn’t warn you if the metre runs over.”
“Oh $13? I’ll turn the metre off and you just give me that money now and I’ll get you there.” Turning the metre off is illegal, by the way.
“Absolutely not! It may not take that much money to get there so I’ll pay what the metre says I owe. Keep the metre running please.” I was starting to feel quite angry.
In an attempt to keep the peace and put a lid on the conversation, I flipped open my phone and called my mom. As we chatted away, the cab driver piped up in a loud voice, informing me that he still refused to go any faster. I had to firmly inform him that I was on the phone.
Over the remainder of the journey, I stayed on the phone, pausing only to remind him to pick up the pace a little bit. As the cab arrived at my destination, the driver actually began to lecture me on safe driving rules. I managed to zone out as I gathered my belongings from the seat and politely informed him that someone driving well below the speed limit is nearly just as hazardous as one who drives over it.
Does anybody else have any horrific taxi stories to share with the class?