Monday, May 29, 2006

slow taxicabs

i have yet to travel in a cab that has its speedometer working. i guess since they're always the slowest things on the road they don't need to figure how fast they're cruising.

it can get real frustrating to sit in the back of one while every other vehicle on the road overtakes you. if you complain about the lack of speed then the guy driving the contraption is likely to give you the evil eye.

other traits common to the practitioners of this profession include dangling one arm outside the window and steering with the other. this no doubt makes for a cool self-image but the limp arm looks definitely ridiculous to passersby.

and i suppose that keeping spare change to be returned to paying customers is a big no-no in their user manual.


Carolyn said...

Here in Chicago, it is against the law to drive and speak on a mobile without the use of a headset. About 80% of the time that I enter a cab, the driver continues his phone conversation and sidesteps any pleasantries directed my way. He merely glances briefly at me in the rearview mirror, while continuing his phone conversation, gets my destination, and proceeds to ignore me for the remainder of the trip. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I suppose it is a quite functional relationship. Just odd.

Kev said...

Hi Nytyn

My main gripe with cab drivers here in the UK, is that some of the younger ones have recently taken to having long phone conversations with friends on their bluetooth headsets during the journey. I guess it saves having to talk to them about the weather, but I kind of find it odd, it makes me feel like I am a parcel or delivery rather than a person.

I used to get a cab home every night when I worked evenings at an American Investment bank a few years back, and finished at 1am or so.

It actually used to be a kind of highlight of my day to chat to the drivers, especially as a lot of the older drivers had a lot of funny stories about the passengers they had taken or the famous people they had in the cab. Others had experienced babies being delivered or bawdy going ons with couples and so on.

I don't recall too well what the cabs were like in Bombay when I was there, though I remember the traffic being a confusing torrent of interweaving vehicles, bicycles and tooting horns.

However, I once got in a cab when I was in Nasik in your home country about 18 years ago and not really being sure what there was to see in the town, I asked the driver to take me on a tour. And so he dutifully drove me to the police station, the hospital, the courts of justice, the electricity sub generator and other such sites. He was so courteous and enthusiatic I didn't have the heart to tell him that was not really quite what I meant by a tour:)