What’s Up? (3/7/14)

I have fifteen minutes to write this before my airplane boards, and the story goes like this… I woke up at  8AM, though I didn’t set my alarm until 9, which meant that I got to experience that absolute bliss that is the one-hour nap before you wake up for real. I wake up, eat, shower, pack; all the normal pre-flight business. Trying so hard not to forget anything that you’re bound to forget something, racing against the clock, checking… 10:00, 10:13, 10:30, 10:50… I leave the apartment, and just miss the 11 o’clock 28X Airport Flyer. By “just miss” I mean the jackass driving the bus drove away even though I was waving at him and, lets call it, jogging at him.

Why didn’t I run? The baggage I was carrying was one reason, it was heavy, running is that much extra work. The other reason? Taxis. When I missed the bus, I made my way to the nearest hotel, asked for a Taxi, and made it to the airport faster than the bus I missed had. Getting to the airport in time isn’t a great story, but those brief, twenty or thirty minutes with the cabby? Incredible.

The man’s friendly, white cab driver, in his thirties I’d guess. We start off on the wrong foot when I mention that I missed the bus, because he insists that I should have called a taxi in the first place. In fact, I should take a Taxi everywhere, he insists. “It’s only six bucks to get from Oakland to Southside; you can take the taxi in between any neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.” I mean, he’s not wrong, but the bus is free for Pitt students, though now that I’m writing this, maybe he didn’t know that? Even if he did, how are you going to sell me on six-dollar cab rides when the bus is free?

Still, I’m not going to debate this guy, since he’s friendly enough and getting me to my flight on time. I start bad-mouthing Port Authority buses to get on his good side, and then he starts telling me cab stories. We land on the subject of drunk customers, and he lays down the law. “I have a drunk-charge. No matter where you’re going, if you’re drunk, it’s twenty bucks, or no ride. And I don’t drive everybody neither. If you’re obliterated, you need an ambulance, not a taxi. If you’re going to puke, no ride. And call me a racist, but no blacks.”

Yup. I mean oh my goodness. I know that should make me mad, but I had to stop myself from laughing. It’s just so wrong. I mean there’s something seriously wrong with not driving drunk customers who rely on taxis to get home safe, but the blunt racism, I almost lost myself. The guy had entertaining stories about driving drunk people home, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all horrible, but I just wasn’t prepared for this sort of cab ride. Still tipped the guy well, still gave him a five-star rating, because in the end I got to the airport in time, and I was so relaxed and in a mostly-positive mindset by the time I got there.

…and we’re boarding the airplane. Let spring break begin.