Friday, June 1, 2007

A few interesting rides tonight

I drove a married couple from Scotland who spent a few days in Vegas, then came down to San Diego for a few days. They were from a small town just east of Edinburgh. The guy asked if I was a golfer. I used to play, but I have given it up. He said he noticed golf is a game for upper class people in the U.S., and I agreed. In Scotland, he said, it's a working man's game. I'd say bowling is our working man's game.

They had seen the new Loch Ness monster video, of course.

Scottish guy: You don't believe in all that, do you?

Me: Not really.

Guy: It's a load of (couldn't make out the word).

Me: Do you think the tourist industry around the Loch is responsible for these sightings?

Guy: Yes, they are. It's a (some word that sounded like "harf").

A strong Scottish accent is very difficult to understand, but it sounds great. Every time I speak to a Scotsman I think I'm speaking to William Wallace. We had a great ride, laughing about Loch Ness.

I also drove young couple from San Diego who were staying at Loews Coronado as a weekend getaway. I picked them up from the downtown area and took the usual route: Harbor Dr to Caesar Chavez Pkwy, then onto the Coronado Bridge, then the Pomona shortcut across Coronado Island, out to the Silver Strand, then straight down to Loews. The fare was $28, and they asked if I knew why they were charged $34 for the same trip earlier, on their way out to San Diego from Coronado. Several reasons are possible -- Coronado cabs should, theoretically, be slightly more expensive than San Diego cabs because the cost of living out there is higher. Also, the cabbie may not have taken the Pomona shortcut. They weren't angry, really, just curious.

Then I brought a nice retired couple from Sushi Ra on Broadway and 5th up to Northpark. I took Pershing Dr through Balboa Park. I always enjoy driving Pershing. It feels like a country highway, but it's smack in the middle of the city. It was an $11 fare plus $5 tip. When I picked up my next customers (going to the Yardhouse on Broadway and 4th) they told me there was puke on the backseat. Fortunately they were wrong, but there was a mess of different sorts. The folks from Sushi Ra had had doggie bags, and they must have leaked. The guy had been holding his bag on his lap, so his pants must be full of whatever Asian sauce was all over my seat. I cleaned up the seat, which is plastic, thankfully, with a Windex wipe. Those are very useful.

On another call, I was belled to a bar on the east side of downtown, and dispatch gave me the name of the customer along with the name of the bar. When I arrived, nobody was outside waiting for a taxi, so I needed to go in and ask. I forgot the name of the customer, so I picked up the mic: "What's my name?" I took a lot of heat for that. "Ted" was the reply from dispatch, followed by hoots and hollers from several drivers. I asked for it.

And the night is still young. It's 11:30 p.m. and I'll be out until 3 or so. Hopefully it will remain busy. The Rock'n'Roll Marathon is in town this weekend, so we're getting some extra business.

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