"You want me to do what?!"-Reasons why I can't be a taxi driver.
(I'd rather not get murdered... I've seen too many movies.)
TAXI DRIVER (1/8)
On my second day as a taxi driver, a guy jumped in the front seat and said, "I need to get to the Courtyard Marriott as fast as possible!" I just said ok and started driving as fast as I could. I suddenly realized we were only a block away. When we got there about 15 seconds later, he jumped out, threw a $20 bill at me, and said, "my friend is trapped in the elevator."
I saw the firetrucks outside the building. I'm not really sure what he could have done to help, but hey, he's definitely a good friend.
Once, I had a guy get in who said he was looking for his friend. He kept telling me to slow down as we drove through Waikiki so he could check if different people were the friend he was looking for. After a minute, I figured out he wasn't looking for a specific person, he was just fishing.
We drove around for a while, got the meter up to around $25. From time to time he would get out, look at someone, and then get back in the cab. I can't imagine what those people were thinking.
Eventually, he saw someone, said "I think that's him," (still maintaining the pretense) then got out. After two-and-a-half years, I still remember the conversation.
Rando guy: Hi!
P: Are you gay?
R: Yes I am!
P: You want to go to my hotel?
TL;DR: I unwittingly assisted a random hookup for $30, never found out if everyone involved made it out alive.
TAXI DRIVER (2/8)
I used to be a cab driver when I was 18. One night I got called to a house in suburbia and a young couple got in the back. They asked me to head to an address about a 15 minute drive away. When we arrived they didn't get out. They just looked out the window and were trying to look through the window of a house a few doors down.
"Is that him?" the woman asked the man. "I think so, I hope so"
Then the man sent a text message off his phone and kept looking at this window. All of a sudden we saw someone wave and then disappear. I just kept the car running and waited for instructions. After about 5 minutes the light in this room went off and the couple kind of held each other and were really having an emotional moment. The woman comforted the man by saying "he's ok". Then they asked me to take them home.
On the ride home the man told me his son had been taken away from him by his ex wife in some bitter dispute. I can't remember the details and I was quite young at the time but it definitely sounded like this guy had been totally fucked over. He wasn't allowed to see him at all and they went through a lot of trouble just to see his hand wave through the window. The taxi fare was like $95AUD or something because of all the time. I think I charged them something like $20.
Did I help them violate some sort of court order, probably. I suspect they needed to use a taxi for this reason. I was and am still ok with it. I have opinions on the way fathers are treated in custody disputes.
TAXI DRIVER (3/8)
So not a typical taxi but I drive a pedicab/rickshaw/tricycle taxi. So one day a guy and his friend run up and say "We need to go that way." They were looking for somebody, one of their friends. Guy tells me to take like 2 turns. During the ride, they're saying stuff like "fuck that guy" and "I'm gonna beat the shit out of him when I see him." After about 2 minutes they just say fuck it and tell me to go back to where we started. Probably just another average day for me, a bunch of guys that we're intoxicated and I'm guessing the friend was really really fucked up. They tipped really well though.
TAXI DRIVER (4/8)
Not quite "follow that car" but on my first visit to Bangkok, the British guys I were with treated me to my first TukTuk ride.
There were four of us - two in each TukTuk - when the guy next to me lent forward and said "500 Baht if you beat that TukTuk!"
Apparently the others did the same and the most insane TukTuk race through Bangkok ensued... Sometimes on the wrong side of the road, sometimes on the footpath - with pedestrians jumping out of the way. Incredible.
We ended up paying them both for the exciting 15 minute ride.