Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday night rides

I had a few memorable rides, though none that were terribly interesting. The first was a group of Scottish businessmen who were going to a South Bay hotel. They asked what the make and model of the taxi was, and about the engine. When I said 4.6 liter V8, they were astonished. "Why?!" they asked. My answer, "Because," sparked a good spirited discussion about the merits of capitalism versus socialism, mostly because I suggested that there's no reason not to have a large engine, except possibly for the pollution.

They consider the UK to be somewhere between France's socialism and America's capitalism. For what it's worth, I agreed. High gas taxes in the UK are used for all sorts of things, and the somewhat socialist society that gives rise to such high taxes removes some responsibility from citizens, but it also provides a great social safety net. For instance, I have no health insurance, and I'm fairly certain nobody in Britain can make that claim, but I also get to keep more of my money. And here's a secret: it would cost $90 per month for me to get a really good health insurance policy, including dental. I checked. I wonder what the UK health system works out to, per month, per person.

Back to the car... The passenger in the front seat asked if he could drive it. I think he was kidding, but I wasn't sure. I declined, but not after we all joked about that, too. I told him I would get a couple of drinks at the bar I picked them up at, and when they got to their hotel, they should make an honest effort to find somebody coming back towards the bar -- the car could be driven back to me. It would be nice to have customers do all the work.

I also drove some Canadians who said they were amazed to see some San Diego natives wearing parkas and boots. When the night time temps get down to around 50, I explained, the natives consider it a frigid winter night. They were incredulous.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What company gives you health care and dental for $90 per month?