Maybe it's because I'm a lowly writer, but I tend to take the subway most of the time to get from here to there. Yesterday morning when I heard it first on the radio, I didn't give a hoot about the taxi strike, apparently in response to being GPS tagged so that they would be tracked... I guess on one level it sucks to be tracked, but on another, you're being a taxi driving people around. What's the big deal if you're able to leverage GPS to track where everyone is? Isn't it a semi-dangerous job?
Either way. That's another story.
This evening, I attended a Rock show. The kind that begins with a capital R. My friend Andre fronts a most excellent yet very loud band called ism that played in the Village this evening. My dear friend Carrie and I ate at Otto (I had the incomparable Carbonara) and then trekked over to the Lion's Den to see ism rock it out. Wait. I mean Rock it out...
So, awesome rock show. Chillin with old friends. Reconnecting with people I've missed for longer than necessary. Then Carrie and I jump in a taxi. I notice when we get into the taxi that there's a strange young blond man sitting in the passenger seat. And the driver has yet to turn on the meter... We've gone a few blocks... Um, I ask. Are you going to turn on the meter?
Random slurred words meant to obscure the understanding. He's not using the meter.
How much to Park Slope?
THIRTY DOLLARS, he says.
It doesn't cost $30 to get home from LaGuardia. It doesn't cost $30 to get home from 96th and Central Park West. It is NOT $30 from here.
Then I realize the blond man in the front seat is a passenger, and he's suddenly all "Yeah, how much are you charging me?" We decide as a collective, the passenger coup, that we're getting out. F*ck that.
So, now Carrie and I are cab-less. And I'm wearing new flats that are chaffing at my heels, used to wearing the flip flops. I limp. We make a last ditch effort after several blocks to catch a cab near the Prince Street subway station. A silver minivan with a paper sign that reads "Taxi" in the window pulls over. "Yeah, I'll go to Brooklyn!"
"However much you want to pay ladies!" rings a jolly Jamaican accent. I'm not saying all Jamaicans are Jolly, but this one definitely was.
The dashboard is lined with bobblehead dolls, a model 3-masted sailboat, and other weird dolls and hanging figurines. There is a giant Jamaican flag taped to the ceiling with masking tape. A back-seat facing TV screen is taped up with the same masking tape. There are 2 "no smoking" symbols also affixed to the ceiling with masking tape. (Like Ghostbusters, but with a cigarette instead of a ghost, for those born between 1973 and 1982). There is reggae.
Carrie asks who's singing.
Duh, it's Bob Marley, Carrie. She's so cute.
So, we're in this minivan that looks like an exploded doll house/carnival/mode of transportation, and listening to some reggae, and the dude is laughing like a hysterical hyena.
Oh crap. Is my driver on the drugs? In a moment of sober (I was actually, the whole somewhat-bad-decision-making time) I take my cell phone out of my purse and just hold it in my hand, ready to call in my own abduction.
But driver remains kind of super cool. He's hilarious. He's really f-ing happy. He's giddy and loves loves loves that he's driving two ladies to wherever the ladies want to go. I hold my phone, laughing about how NYU students are tools with the driver, who also loves them because he works there.... Apparently he plays taxi when driving home from work. At midnight? Humph.
In spite of my reservations and clutching my cell phone, he took us to where we wanted for what we offered to pay (market rate essentially) and he took our money, continued to giggle with us, and then drove off.
It really was a nice guy with a van who wanted some extra cash so giggled as he listened to Bob Marley and drove home harmless ladies.