DK’s Taxi Cab Chronicles (from 5/13/10).

Long-Haul Thursday had a different feel to it this time.  I only had one trip that took me out of Manhattan; however the oddity at least for me was not reaching below 59th street for quite some time.

My first passenger of the day I picked up from Terminal 7 and was heading to Columbia near 119th and Amsterdam.  I think he wanted to have a conversation with me but I never really gave him a chance to spark one?  Nevertheless he gave me $55+toll so I was off to a good start.

A cab driver got in front of me when I was tryin to cut back into the right lane from the curb…only for him to be so concerned about me that he passed the next passenger I picked up which was some lady who told me to turn the radio off.  I was caught off-guard by this actually and turned it down..but she didn’t want to hear ANYTHING I guess (I found out later my back speakers were on since my radio reset) so I had to deal with silence for a good 20 minutes as she was reading the NY Times.  Her destination was 64th between Madison & Park so yes it’s a good fare and she even gave me specific directions on how to get there ha (taking the 79th street transverse as opposed to the 65th street one which I thought was weird but whatever).  She hands me a $50.  I hate that shit early on in a shift.  Nice lady and she got me thinkin if I can handle havin no music in my cab.  That lasted all of 30 seconds after she got out.

Next guy who gets in: “Is this the radio you have on, no words to the song?  Weird.”
Me: Rap instrumental on my iPod (Foxy Brown- Oh Yeah).
Guy: Ahh gotcha.

The first person to actually have a conversation with me was this Lebanese lady who asks me how my night is thus far (which hasn’t been bad- but for some odd reason I couldn’t explain how I felt).  She then goes on talkin about how she went to an NYU graduation at Yankee Stadium yesterday and how cold it was.  Sidenote- My class was the last one to actually graduate at Washington Square Park in 2007 and the past 3 graduations have been held at the Stadium (08 at the old one and the past 2 at the new one). I tell her that I can dig the long sleeve weather.  She tells me how she applied for 87 jobs right out of college and the 88th one hired her.  Ouch.  She’s currently an arts teacher.  Then I’m not sure how it came about but she talks about how people in America don’t know how to drink because they do to excess.  Probably because I mentioned how Friday & Saturday nights get with drunkards.
Her: See in my country it’s okay to drink wine with your meal if you’re 16.
Me: It should be too; but we’re taught to go hard or go home.
Her: And you guys get drunk off of beer. I never understood why ick.  I love me some vodka.
DK’s Brain: CougarLife.com
Me: Me too.

I next picked up back-to-back African American ladies.  One was headin to Port Authority (my least favorite place to pick up a passenger) and was hella polite..while the 2nd one took me to 150th and Riverside.  My latter trip was weird because when I got off at 125th street..I thought Riverside Drive was gonna take me all the way up but I come to find out that it’s one hell of a weird road.  Ultimately I get confused and have to turn around back to Broadway.  When I get to 145th and Broadway I start thinkin about Dipset ha.  “I represent where, where them killaz at/145th and Broadway you get your head cracked.”  I also represent my off-duty lights too.

After doin the infamous “two stops please” which led me to 3rd avenue and 15th street; I pick up these Spanish ladies and immediately I have a bad feeling I’m goin out of the borough.
Girl: “We’re goin to Queens.”
Fuuuuuuuck.  And it’s not as if I can take a short way, I have to go take the Queensboro and go all the way down Queens Blvd.  I’d have no problem with this..but it was around 10pm.  I know where my children are.  I went to Woodside first and assuming that the next one wasn’t goin too far away from there I began planning my next move…
Girl 2: “I’m goin all the way down Queens Blvd to near Hillside.”
Shiiiiiiit.  At this point I’m about 10 minutes from my house…but also 10 minutes from JFK.  Their fare came out to $33.50 and NOW it’s appropriate to give me a $50.
Girl: “Give me back $15?”
Girl: “Have a good night.”
Me (sarcastically): “You too.”

I pray that JFK isn’t packed and it’s not- I wait at the lot for about 10 or 15 minutes before headin to Jetblue’s Terminal to pick up a family going to a hotel which they said was at “8518 avenue”.  Say whaaaat? “No sorry 8th avenue and 51st street.”

I decided that I had enough and took a quick commercial break to grab some food.  Apparently there was a bomb scare at the NYU dorms on 14th street and that’s why they closed it off between 3rd and 4th avenues?  There are two dorms there (Palladium and University Hall).  I wanted a chicken gyro HELLA BADLY…but I couldn’t get over there so I had to settle for egg white sandwiches.  Then I dealt with polar opposites for my final two passengers:

I’m driving down Avenue A and this Spanish guy hops in askin me if I can take him to 9th avenue and 52nd street for $11.  Get the fuck out of here ha I work on a meter bitch.  I turn the meter on.  “Oh come on..you’re not gonna break me a deal?” To be fair, it costs AROUND that much (and it would turn out to be $12.30) but if I was a gypsy cab..no chance in hell he would have charged him $11.  I’ve been charged $10 to go from 6th and 14th up to Penn Station.  I ask him why he wanted me to only charge him $11 and not $12.
Him: $11 for you..I need the $1 so I can get myself some candy.

This clown.  So anyhow I get him to the place and it’s time to pay.  He hands me a $50.  And to think he was gonna try and negotiate the fare with me ha dumbass.  I hand him back $37 and then he gets confused.
Him: Why am I only getting $37?
Me: It’s $12.30. If I handed you $38 you woulda been short 30 cents.  I round up to the nearest dollar.
Him: Oh so you’re gonna give yourself a tip?
Me: Never said that…what, you want the 70 cents back?
Him: Yes, money is money man.

I give him 75 cents from my coin rack.  Merry Christmas, Happy Cinco de Mayo God Bless & Goodnight get the fuck out now.  Spic-n-span mutha fucka.

I decide to turn left on 46th street and I pick up this guy with a southern drawl.  I’m assuming he’s drunk because he wants me to take him to 48th street between 8th and 9th (I’m between 8th and 9th on 46th street ha) and to myself I’m wondering WHYYYY??  He rambles about some shit I’m not really paying attention to any of it until he mentions when we get near his hotel “Back in the day on every corner here they used to be prostitues everywhere.”  Damn, I missed all of this? “Yeah I wish they still had him sometimes heh heh heh.”  Lmfaoooo.  He hands me a $20.  “I want back nine” is what I thought he originally said but then he gets out.
Me: How much did you say you wanted back?
Him: Nuttin, I said nuttin keep it all.  Like I said I greatly appreciated you takin me basically around the corner (it was a $4.70 fare).

That made my night and I was done.  New episode at 515pm EDT today.  No episode this Saturday and perhanps none on Sunday either (day decision).  And so on.


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