Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cab Drivers are Maniacs

We used to be intimidated by the idea of catching a cab. Now we are simply terrified to ride in one. When we went to New York, we knew that we would probably have to ride in a cab. We would need to get from our hotel to restaurants, to Broadway for the show we were attending, to catch our tour bus, to the pier to board our cruise ship. We were a little nervous about it.

The first time we tried to catch a cab, Tom stepped to the curb, held up his arm - and a cab pulled over. We exchanged glances. Nobody could tell we were hicks from Kentucky. We were cool. We were suave. We were sophisticated. We could hail a cab. I have to interject here how indispensable my husband was to me on this trip. Not only was he a funny and loving companion, he could find his way around, like, anywhere. We were in the middle of Central Park. We had wandered around and I was totally lost. We would still be there now if it weren't for Tom. He gently turned me around when I headed in the wrong direction and unerringly led us back to the hotel. I was super impressed. Since I can't find my way out of a paper bag, he was handy to have along. He could also find his way around the cruise ship and had the entire ship layout memorized in roughly 3 minutes. I could never find the pool. I went back to the room to get my sunglasses from the pool one time and he didn't see me again for an hour.

Anyway. We could hail a cab. But riding in one was quite another matter. The drivers are completely and totally insane. They drive approximately 341 miles an hour, and don't stop for anyone or anything. We also, incorrectly, assumed they would know their way around New York. I don't know where we got THAT idea. We got in a cab that night and told him the name of the restaurant we wanted. "Where is that?", he asked. We didn't know. We thought he would know. We did figure it out and managed to get there. But not without holding on for dear life to each other and praying we would survive the trip.

We found out later the cab drivers drive this fast because they rent the cabs, so the more money they can make in the least amount of time, is crucial to their income. But I still think they are maniacs. On one of our last nights, we walked from the hotel to a restaurant close by for dinner. A cab swerved to the curb, some guy leaped out (probably scared green by the cabbie's speed) and took off down the sidewalk at a dead run. The cabbie leaped out and pursued him. The guy sped past us, we stepped aside and the cab driver yelled "Stop him!" Uh, yeah, right. We may be hicks from Kentucky but we know when to stay out of a fight.

We just kept on walking as he dashed by.


Anonymous said...

After our cab ride in NY, we decided that the subway couldn't be anymore dangerous or intimidating than the ride that we had just been on. It was truly a NY experience.


Nikky said...

I have had several layovers in New York, but none long enough to get out and look around. That is one city on my "to do" list... but I have done cabs in other countries and I will agree with Nancy above, the subway, even with the smells and the scary people, were still safer than the cab rides!

boo said...

We did cabs and the subway when we were in NY. Zipping around on the subway was very easy and very New York City!