February 22nd, 2009


Because everyone has a bad cab story

Last November, visiting my sister in New York. Flew into LaGuardia and got one of the taxis that line up and are reputable. Before we even put our bags in the trunk I tell the guy that we need to go to Brooklyn, is that ok? He says no problem, he knows Brooklyn like the back of his hand. Good, I think, because I've never been to Brooklyn.

Just in case, I have a map-quest and google directions on how to get from the airport to my sister's place. My sis told me that it's usually about $30 bucks, but we have 50 in cash just in case, and that most cabs have GPS navigators in them. Still, I offer the guy the directions. No, no, he knows Brooklyn, he knows exactly how to get to my sis's address.

So we start driving. We get to Brooklyn, are driving, driving, driving, and then I say to my husband "Didn't we just pass this place?" "Yeah," he says, "Twice." So I tell the cabbie "We need to go to such and such address -- are we close?"
"Do you want the directions?."

Another pause, but then he tells me to read them to him. I do, but these are directions from the airport, and I have no idea where we are.  Still driving around, meter running. We have passed the 30 buck mark, passed 40, going on 50.  I call my sister for directions. She asks me, quite logically, where are we. I ask the cabbie. He doesn't know. It's night and my vision isn't great, so I have my hawk-eyed husband look for signs. When I tell sis a street name she says "What the HELL are you doing all the way over there?!?!" She tells me to tell him to go to (some major place I can't remember but she assures me the cabbie should absolutly know how to get there). Cabbie says ok. Driving, driving, I'm telling street names to my sis, and she's getting mad because he's going the wrong direction. He pulls over not once, not twice, but three times to ask random people how to get to (major intersection) all while my sis is screeching "Tell him to turn off the meter if he's going to stop and ask people!" He asks for my phone so he can talk to my sister directly. We are hitting 60 bucks on the meter and it's now well past midnight so I give it to him. 

Finally we reach the intersection and he gives the phone back. Sis is relating directions to me so I can guide him from there. We start to pass the same places again. I tell her street names. He is, again, going the wrong way, ignoring me when I say "Turn on to X street".  She says that she is going to just walk to the major street a few blocks from her apartment (she was on her cell) because there is no way in hell he's going to find her street and demands that I put him back on the phone. She guides him some more and finally I spot her standing on the sidewalk in her pajamas.

Fare is 90 bucks.

Thankfully sis puts her New York foot down and tells him he gets 35. He calls her a few names but takes the 35 and flips us off as he speeds away.