Monday, September 2, 2013

Taxi As It Really Is, Parts 1 & 2

Taxi is a rapid-fire kaleidoscope of people and various personalities and situations.  One moment I will get a twenty dollar bill for a five dollar fare transporting an ill nine-year old dog, Soapy and his worried owner, to the next ride a stupid young man accusing me of going the wrong way when I am pointing north on one-way 1st Avenue North and there is no option but to go forward and around the block.  Driving taxi you know love and hate and whatever else is waiting around that next corner.  Yesterday I had a fare, my first of a very busy Sunday displaying how intimate that human interaction can be, always attempting to remember that the all of us earth-bound residents are very human and sensitive to each other.  Many interactions I have in the taxi, both happy and sad, good and bad, positive and negative would be impossible any place else.  Taxi, gives, taxi takes and internally the driver quakes!

Part one of yesterday's ride actually began Saturday night of the previous weekend, proving that patience and forbearance can pay off in unexpected ways.  Getting a call  at about 9:25 PM to 1305 NE 43rd, the "ugly mug" apartment building famous for it unusual facially prominent "bas reliefs" gracing the weathered brick.  The call was confusing, with the young Chinese student Vicki calling Yellow multiple times, causing madness and agitation.  Sensing that she would really be going to the airport, I stuck with it, rejecting other calls I received after getting my "no-show." 

Having talked to her over the telephone it was clear Vicki was "freaking out" but I believed that indeed we would be going to Sea-Tac.  Finally about 20 minutes later the frantic woman runs out of the building.  Her flight to Miami is leaving at 10:50 PM and we have little more than an hour to get there.  Compounding everything we get four block away when she realized she had left her passport.

Once again underway I understand that we might not make it in time.  Telling her that, I also emphasize that none of this is reasonable.  Prompting her panic was a deranged landlord who pressured her to have everything moved out even though her lease ran through the end of August, which was a week away. Vicki was obviously being bullied.  There is a good reason why Bob Dylan wrote "Dear Landlord."

I-5 south-bound was no fun because the freeway was clogged with post-Mariner game traffic.  Doing my best at times prudently zigzagging I make it to the airport clock in 15 minutes.  Being a wise woman she gave me a great tip because she now had a full 40 minutes allowing her to reach the departure gate.  My encouragement led her to checking in over her "smart" phone.  We had a very friendly parting, both of us pleased she would be soon "winging it" down  calmly to Florida.

Part 2 was yesterday morning  Having overslept it was just past 11 AM when I finally got out there working.  It is always "where to work, where to go?" the pressure to make the correct decision intense.  The "University," meaning zone 150 opens up and boom I get a call and an amazing, a 11:30 AM time-call with the very same Vicki.  Calling her I tell her I'll first grab a cup of coffee then I'm there.

Arriving again at the "ugly mug"  this time she is out front with a pile of luggage and her mother and I believe her brother.  She is escorting them back to the airport.  Her mother, knowing how I had zoomed her daughter to the airport, was very friendly and supportive.  During the ride south Vicki, acting as translator, conducted a lively conversation.  Suffice to say, a genuine connection was made, pleasing everyone, conveying the "commonality of the human experience."  To be treated this warmly by complete strangers was moving.  And I also earned sixty dollars for a taxi ride well done, getting my Sunday moving in clearly the right direction.  As I am wont to say, welcome to taxi!


If you can, make it to tomorrow's 5:30 PM Cooper and Mundy City Council  presentation.  We need a full taxi house.


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