Monday, March 1, 2021

"You Are So Smart! Why Are You Driving A Cab?" & He Said The FBI Was Paying His Fare & A Quick Report Concerning The War In Tigray, Ethiopia & Seattle & King & County's TRIP Initiative & Taxi Social Anthropology: Entering Bill's World & Brit Uber Drivers Win In UK Supreme Court

A Too Typical Sentiment Espoused By The Uninformed 

She was a true "country bumpkin," as the saying goes, "just off the turnip truck," her remark meant as a compliment but of course her unintended insult reflecting an attitude held by many---taxi a menial  occupation anyone can do, and if intelligent or capable, why demean yourself when you could be doing anything else but this worst possible?  Yes stupid and unsophisticated but why would I expect anyone to understand the obvious when interpreting the simplest equation is, for most homo sapiens, a  mountain too high to summit when enjoying the scenery the usual and best expected outcome.  

Do I expect comprehension?  No.  And the reason is ingrained bias learnt when the individual wasn't looking, instead walking into a darkened room and staying there until the inevitable funeral.  

Hey, you say, it really can't be that dismal but of course it is, providing us the world we all know too well, an existence composed of dead-ends, deadbeats and the hollowed-out thinking of modern zombies never considering what could be, should be, and is.  

Did I find her a fool?  No, only deficient and misguided, confused from her earliest beginnings to "I don't know what I am saying but forgive me anyway, meaning no harm, despite the damage I am really quite friendly." In that I take solace, forgiving the dog's fangs or the cat's claws understanding one's nature is natural when a bump upon the head your first nursery lesson.  

And why be angry with God's misbegotten?  A good question I am sure better answered by someone else at a different moment upon another day better than this, a day less deflated, less broken.

Why the FBI?

God I was tired, explaining why I didn't stop immediately when the guy told me he was going to the FBI Building, especially at midnight.  Once I got on the freeway I asked, "How are you paying for the cab?" and he said, "the Federal Bureau of Investigation is paying."  Oh god! again, how could I have been this stupid, telling him it was all a fantasy and how I resented him including me in it, that he was wasting my time and  quickly exited the freeway, all the while he insisting I would get paid.  Goodbye, goodbye! my parting comment to someone I should have left at the curbside waiting for J. Edgar Hoover.  

Massacre in Tigray 

Since the vast majority of Seattle cabbies are either from Ethiopia or other Horn of Africa countries, I feel a short report on the civil conflict in the Tigray region would be of interest, both to those from Ethiopia and to others interested in current world events and wars.  In late November, in the Holy City of Axum (Aksum), forces from neighboring Eritrea and rival ethnic Amhara militias murdered over 800 Axum residents in and near the Church of Saint Mary of Zion.  Axum is the reputed birthplace of the Old Testament Bible's Queen of Sheba. It is reported the streets were covered with blood from the many victims.  Most were buried in mass graves.

Earlier in November, there was a massacre in the city of Mai-Kadra, this one conducted by Tigray forces. More about all this at a later date.

It's a TRIP but where is the City and County taking us?

The City of Seattle and King County have been making announcements about their new plans about for-hire renewals and, I think, new regulatory patterns for Seattle's taxi industry.  What will really end up occurring I don't know but as I've have been telling them, they need to gain control of how local taxi associations function in order to protect taxi customers from the sometimes awful service they receive.  Everyday I find customers who have been waiting far too long in the cold and rain for the late arriving cab.  Especially on Saturday and Sunday nights I find myself getting "no-show" after "no-show" because the customer found another way to their destination.  Who wants to wait 50-60 minutes or more for their cab?  No one is the obvious answer.

Bill from the VA Hospital

The first "belled-in" Yellow Cab driver failed to get out of his cab and enter the lobby where Bill was waiting.  A second call got me there and I DID get out and search for Bill.  Finding him waiting in a wheelchair, no shoes, only wearing socks, I got him into the cab.  Bill was an older African-American man going back to his White Center apartment.  He didn't have his wallet and he didn't have his keys but we got into his building anyway and his unlocked 3rd floor apartment. 

Entering his overheated home, strewn with clothes and unwashed dishes, we made it to his bedroom and the hidden wallet, Bill giving me a twenty for my effort, me a quick witness to poverty and despair.  Where else would I get this kind of privilege, provided glimpses into the more intimate area of people's lives, allowed to take mental notes and photos?  

Thank you taxi, I think!

British Uber Not Happy

Uber has lost a big lawsuit in the English Courts, their highest court affirming that since Uber controls driver movements, the Uber operators must be treated in the same manner as regular employees.  It's a big deal and more on this next week when I am less tired.  Screw Uber!



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