Why Didn't I Write Down the Cab Info?
Some months ago, during evening rush hour, I hailed a cab and needed to go from my office on the Hill to a friend's dinner party off of New Mexico Ave. It's a long ways, I grant you, but the number of buses I'd have to take to get there would take far too long.
The first cab I hailed (all I remember is that it was blue) - I got in, gave the cabbie the address, and he shook his head, muttered something then said, "no, no, that's too far" and asked me to get out. Foolishly, I did. And ended up in another cab (I gave the driver double the amount for the ride, just out of stupid spite).
Has anyone else had this problem - cabbies that refuse to take you where you need to go? And how have you handled it?
The sweetest, kindest cabbies I've run into in the city have been from Ethiopia. They've never failed to volunteer to watch while I get into my home at night in the dark, and always charged the right amount. They've been dream drivers.
Watch Out for This Cabbie
The fella who drives Dial Cab #58 is quite the wild driver. He's got a postcard of Jesus rubberbanded to his sun shield, a cross hanging from the rear view mirror and a cross on the dashboard. That must be what's kept him alive all this time. I rode from Wisconsin Avenue to downtown in this cab and I can't believe we didn't hit anything. One of those guys who is constantly changing lanes to get 3 feet ahead, and in the end, we were pretty much in the same place we would have been originally.
And I do feel for the people who dared to cross in the crosswalk when they had the light, yes, the guy leaning on the horn for you to hurry was my cab. Sorry!
Scariest Cab Ride
The scariest cab ride I've had in DC was back in the late 80s. I was at National Airport and looking to get a cab back home to Adams Morgan. At that time, any cab could work the airports and take as many passengers as could go. So I ended up in a cab with 2 other young professionals coming back from Thanksgiving holiday. The first drop off was at P just off of Dupont. The ride to there had seemed fair enough. The driver got the guy's luggage and then got back into the car. As he started to drive off, he turned to me and the woman remaining and asked with a straight face, "Have either of you noticed how the roads have been shaking and turning upside down?"
We looked at each other, the cab now moving, with a mutual desire to just jump out of that sucker and run. We managed to get to my apartment off of Columbia road with no incidents, and the other passenger grabbed her stuff and jumped out. When the driver asked what she was doing, she just said we were close enough to her place and she'd walk from there. He drove off and neither of us did the smart thing and take down his info, we were a bit too shaken. My roommate (who had not been experimenting with anything stronger than coffee that night) drove her home and I was just glad that the driver hadn't mentioned the moving roads while we were on the highway!
Yellow vs. Diamond -- Who Do You Call?
There have been a number of times I haven't felt comfortable going home by bus or walking from the metro. It's been late enough and the area I live in sometimes questionable enough that I just like the security of having a cab drop me off.
But who to call? Yellow and Diamond are the biggies in the phone book, each promising great service in their ads. Yellow usually makes you listen to a recorded spiel that reminds you that if you don't stick near the phone, or if they get a busy signal, your cab is history. Diamond, on the other hand, sometimes asks me to stick by the phone, sometimes note. And the result? I've had Diamond cabs waiting outside my office and then leaving because I was inside waiting for the phone call that isn't coming.
On the other hand, if you don't want to wait around in your office, odds are good that Diamond will probably send someone, whether or not they've asked you to wait by the phone.
I know, I know, I need to get a cell phone. But jeez, I HATE cell phones.
Welcome to DC Cab Rider
I've lived in DC for almost 25 years now, and love to ride in cabs. Well, the thing is, I don't have a car. Sold mine a few months after moving into Adams Morgan and discovering that parking spaces exist only in theory.
So I became a public transportation fiend. Buses, Metro, and taxis. And there are just so many interesting and sometimes bizarre taxi experiences I've had that I just wanted to blog about it. And hopefully hear from other DC cab riders.