Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A TAXI DRIVER TO FORGET

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?

6 Comments
Alice Bevan–McGregor

Well, there is this one taxi driver in the Valley who has a… size problem. Most notable are the smell, and the human-sized pile of junk food occupying the front passenger seat and foot well.

Yeah. ¬_¬ *shudders*

Pleasant enough fellow otherwise, though.

Mindy

Two stories! One creeper, one asshole.

So, a little information behind both of these stories, I am a server at a very busy bar. I’ve taken a cab home from the bar many times, either when I didn’t have a car, or when I have been drinking. I always call the same cab company, so a lot of the drivers do recognize me from the place I work at- apartment building I live in route. Anyways…

- About a month ago, I took a cab home from work because my car was being repaired at the time. Before I said anything, the cab driver said “You live at **** ******* Street, in the *********** apartment buildings. I was really confused, thinking back, maybe he had driven me home a few weeks before? And then he proceeded to meantion “I remember giving you a ride last summer”. Last summer, as in over one year ago. And he somehow knew the street, apartment buildings, and exact building I lived in? From the previous year. Too wierd.

- So, another time I call a cab to get to work, when I didn’t have a car. The cab driver asked me something about if I were going out, and I let him know, “No, I work there”. He proceeded to tell me that everytime he’s given a ride to any other servers at the same bar (AKA- my co-workers and some of my very best friends) they’re always “huge bitches” and all “drunks” and “extremely rude”. Now, I have taken a cab with pretty much every person who i work with, and everyone is incredibly nice, and we tip well. Let’s think about this- we serve people for a living, live off tips, and expect respect from our customers. Why would we turn around and take a cab, and treat a cab driver the complete opposite? If anything I am going to be nicer than their average customer. Anyways, I was quite upset about him bashing my workplace, co-workers, and friends, and let him know, and for the first time in probably two years, did not tip my cab driver.

Such long stories! Guess I got a bit carried away.

Lydeeah

Never had a bad cab ride, ever.

I think the only time I was ever mad was when the cab driver didn’t pull up far enough for me to get in the backseat.. So I had to sit in the front. It was silly, and I was only green for like a second.

Tony M

I took a cab in Ottawa the day after 52 cm of snow had fallen, 4 lane streets were now 2 lanes and 2 lane sidestreets now looked like a tunnel!

The cab itself was an old mini van and had squealing brakes and no rear shocks, the driver had his window cracked so he could finish his smoke while talking on his phone (of course!)

I’m not sure where he learned to drive, but I think he was told the gas and brake only work if you put them on the floor. So I decided the only way to avoid getting sick was to look out the side window, this way I wouldn’t tense up as I waited for impact.

Here’s a picture of one of the side streets we were driving on , this is actually a 2 way street!

http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://images.ctv.ca/gallery/photo/ottawa_snow_20080310/image0.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ottawa.ctv.ca/gallery/html/ottawa_snow_20080310/photo_0.html&usg=__4KQYa_DC3rg3H3v7rraYe99eVek=&h=400&w=600&sz=91&hl=en&start=13&tbnid=JLslhHErSXk4bM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhuge%2Bsnowfall%2Bin%2Bottawa%2522%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG

Jen

You should report him to the company, I really got a sense of how terrible that ride must have been – yikes. The most infuriating thing about those siutations is how we feel we have to remain silent for fear of physical harm. When all you want to do is shout “Shut the f* up!!!” at him.

I had this one guy regail me with stories of Paul Bernardo in a “positive” light (if you can imagine) while he drove me home years back. Frightening…oh and, did I mention I was living in Scarbourogh at the time (one of the places he raped women)…

Was not fun.

On the flipside, a lovely indian cabbie drove my wallet all the way back home for me when i forgot it in his cab once, made my year

Good and bad all around us, I guess.

Dan

When you order food to be delivered in La Paz, Bolivia, they send it to you in a taxi.

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