Saturday, September 22, 2007

Taxi Drivers

Last weekend we experienced the good the bad and the ugly of the taxi world. Let me set the scene. My brother was getting married in London. Its where he lives after all so I will forgive him that. (Its also where his girl friend lives which I guess is more to the point). So we set off on Friday from Buxton. We were going by train. We Birdwatchers are proud of our carbon footprint. We order the taxi and wait. Its late. Marginally so but late. And as we only have seven minutes to catch the connection in Stockport its not a great start. I start to blame Mrs BW which is not a great idea.


But the gods smile on us and we make the connection and arrive in London. Another taxi whisks us to where we are all meeting up. Its easy this travelling business.

Fast forward to Saturday evening. We are in Hampstead. I phone a local taxi firm to take us back to Central London. They ask for my number. A couple of minutes later they phone me back. Where are we exactly? How the fuck should I know? They are the taxi drivers. Eventually after a lot of effort, several more phone calls and some swearing by me, they found us. I had actually ordered two cabs as there were quite a few of us.

"Where are we going?" the driver asks

"Just follow the cab in front" I said. (Always wanted to say that!)

And he did. Regardless of traffic lights and other road users. We actually hit a pedestrian! It was a glancing blow and he was drunk but even so. Apart from a raised hand by way of apology from the driver we continued on our way. There was a sort of stunned silence in the cab. And I suppose a stunned pedestrian behind us.

The silence was interrupted every so often by the Sat Nav. It repeated itself in a fruitless and frustrating effort to get the driver to follow its instructions;

"Turn left. Do a u turn and then take the next left. Turn left now!" Which of course was rubbish, and fell on deaf ears.

We arrived safe but a little bit ruffled. The kids enjoyed it though. They though it was great fun almost like being on a fair ground ride! I needed a large drink to recover from the experience. Actually I seem to remember it was several large drinks.

4 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

I exchange words with my older brother about once a year. He's not one for keeping in touch - nothing malicious, we just don't have much in common. Last I heard he was working for a taxi firm. I assumed it was as a driver but found out from my father last night that he's actually on reception.

Sorry, this is probably of no interest to you at all, but it was the only bizarre (to me) taxi related tale I could think of

Malc said...

Did they at any stage tell you that "he's in the next street"? It's a favourite ploy of Wednesfield Taxis in Wolverhampton - absolutely the worst cab firm in the UK, if not Europe.
My favourite trip was from central Rome to the airport. The be-sunglassed driver took us past the sights at about 80mph and then ran out of fuel on the autostrade. Mrs Wannabe Pig Farmer restrained me in the back seat while he got on the phone to his mate who dashed out with a couple of cans. We made the plane with 15 minutes to spare, having to share economy class with a bunch of teenage Lazio fans.

Malc said...

I should point out that the Roman cabbie was not from Wednesfield Taxis - at least I don't think so. However, there's a job for him in the West Midlands if ever he fancies a change of scene.

The Birdwatcher said...

Kim - not a job I could do. I would bw too easily distracted.

Malc - They kept on telling me they were just two streets away. And then asked me where I was? I was two streets away of course.
Running out of fuels a good one. At least his mate knew where he was.