It still amazes me even after all these years driving a taxi just how different one fare can be from the next. A day or two back I picked up an Italian doctor up who was over here in the UK working at our local hospital for a while. During the short ten minute journey he was full of conversation on subjects as wide ranging as his home town and other places in Italy to the Barrow area and the food he enjoyed cooking and his thoughts on the National Health Service.
All in all a great fare and a pleasure to deal with, and he gave a decent tip to!
Next job was a contract fare with a guy going the 80 miles or so up to Carlisle. Now this guy was a totally different kettle of fish, it was like grinding granite getting a single syllable out of him. All the way over the bleak and moody Shap Fell with my equally bleak and moody passenger staring silently down at the floor.
At the highest remotest part of the grim hills the radio even lost signal and the silence became deafening. So I tried every conversation starter that I could think of, but all to no avail, I might as well have been carrying a parcel for all the reaction I got.
Boring boring boring, so on went a CD at high volume and I tapped the wheel and screeched along with Bob Dylan as the parcel carried on staring silently at the floor for the rest of the ride. When we finally reached the grim north of Cumbria he got out without leaving even a thank you, never mind even a tiny tip!
The next day I picked up a lady going to her doctor’s surgery this was a trip of about three miles. As soon as she got in the car she started to tell me her complete gynecology history.
This included her three pregnancies, two miscarriages and details of her various women’s problems.
Luckily we had reached the surgery by the time she offered to show me her hysterectomy scars and I was able to decline her kind offer.
It was about 12 am but I decided to skip lunch that day.