Left Chicago on Monday, arriving Detroit almost 9 PM because flying standby is only for the patient. Spending ten hours at any airport, be it O'Hare or any other is something I will attempt to avoid in the future. Once in Detroit it was a 45 minute drive more or less down to Toledo. Toledo, my parents and siblings (& cousins & everyone else) birthplace is located on Lake Erie and where my father first drove taxi. His second stint was in Denver, Colorado. I am writing this from the Rossford, Ohio public library, a wonderful and friendly place.
I did not take a taxi in Chicago, finding the "L" the best way to get around, though of course I did watch my brethren operate. Driving taxi in a "real" city is of course entirely a whole other kind of taxi story. In Chicago the drivers appear of be mostly Africian, and not necessarily from the Horn of Africa like is true in Seattle. What a life for these folks, driving the mean and down & dirty streets of very ubran Chicago.
A most distrubing piece of news is to be found in the Monday (9/12/11) edition of the New York Times. A mass grave containing the bodies of 40 Iraqi taxi drivers were found in a rural area. Another city has 35 missing cabbies. The story behind the 40 murdered drivers is that members of a large criminal gang took taxis as passengers out to the countryside only to have the driver ambushed and killed, the goal being the shiny new taxi. I will investigate further and let everyone know the details of this awful story. Like I always say, taxi drivers are considered public property, meaning anything can and will be done concerning them. What a reality!