Worst taxi yet


Okay, now I'm not so enamored of these Boston taxis. Not that I've ever been enamored of the taxis, actually. I find them more of a necessary evil than a convenience.

Anyway, tonight's made me very, very nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I started texting Kris with updates of where I was as the taxi was driving, the wrong way in some cases. The Bruins game just got out, and the normal way was blocked, we have to go this way. He turned left, instead of right, right being the direction of the hotel, the direction of last night's taxi route back to the hotel.


I realized that Kris probably wasn't going to get these text messages, or respond to them. I started texting Andy. At least he has a data plan. I sent the various locations as we were passing them, thinking, well, even if something bad happened, at least they'd know where I was last. I don't know, maybe I overreacted. Okay, yeah, I overreacted. But the taxi driver was creepy. I mean, not only did he drive the wrong way, but he kept muttering as he was driving, and looking back at me, and quickly looking away. He didn't use the windshield wipers, or defrosters, the windows started fogging up. All the windows. I ended up rolling down the windows to see out. Well, rolling down the windows, looking out, freaking out, and texting Andy.

I made it back to the hotel safely. To my surprise, the fare was less than last night's fare.

Well, if you don't add in the text message costs, I guess.

Another taxi


I'm definitely running the gamut of taxi rides on this trip.

Contrasting to yesterday's stinky, unpleasant ride, this morning's taxi ride was completely bearable, if not approaching enjoyable. When I requested the front desk call me a cab, I specifically stated I didn't want a smoking one. "No taxis are non-smoking in Boston," I was told.

Uh huh, right. And I'm still a virgin.

Just ask Kris.

Poor, poor Kris.

The driver that picked me up this morning was one of those prototypical friendly Boston taxi drivers. He immediately started talking, complimenting me on my directions to the conference center ("I'd like to go to the conference center, the new conference center, the new conference center on Summer Street, do you know where that is? I have a map if you don't."). I don't know if offering a map to a taxi driver is offensive or not, but I'd rather not be arguing with a taxi driver about my destination when a map will suffice.

The driver told me about various rides he had picked up, a nine year old that needed to be taken to school because her mom woke up too late, the German doctors who were angry he took them to the wrong place when he took them where they asked to go which wasn't where they wanted to go, stories like those.

At one point, he asked if he could smoke. When I said no, he laughed, oh, he was just joking, he doesn't smoke. As a matter of fact, he doesn't drink coffee, either. Of course, I didn't think to ask if he drinks alcohol, but he doesn't gamble either ("All I'm doing is giving them my money. Why would I want to do that?").

I wondered why he was driving taxis, as we drove over the various bridges, but didn't ask.

His girlfriend, who might have been his wife, I didn't ask about that either, called during the ride. He answered the phone, but waited until we were stopped at a stoplight before talking. The woman wanted him to pick her up and drive her to the hospital. Sure, he would, did she have a ride home afterward?

It made me continue to wonder about him. He seemed like a good guy, with only Cuban cigars as a vice ("Oh, they smell so good!"). He was willing to drive someone, without pay, during his shift, no less, losing income during the drive. Okay, so maybe he wasn't a good businessman. I'm not sure I'd want to drive someone somewhere, anywhere, if I drove for a living.

I tipped him well.

Taxi rides


Okay, so, last night's taxi ride from the airport wasn't too bad. It was a $30 taxi ride, which is about $20 more than I really wanted to pay, but well, whatever. The driver was from Haiti, had been driving in Boston for 20 years, and was happy to talk. I was happy to listen. I figure, if something bad is going to happen to me in cars, it's less likely to happen if there's some sort of emotional attachment to the victim (i.e. me), so I converse, too.

When I hopped into the van, I let the driver know I was going to the Constitution Inn. He heard Residence Inn, despite my telling him where I was going, the address of the hotel and asking him if he knew where he was going.

We arrived at the Residence Inn. I stated this was not where I wanted to go. I said the Constitution Inn. Oh, he heard Residence Inn. I'm not sure how he heard that since I specifically said Constitution Inn three or four times.

Fortunately, the Constitution Inn is just down the street from the Residence Inn. Had it been any farther away, or not along the way to my hotel, I would have been annoyed.

Probably not as annoyed as this morning's taxi ride though.

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really should have realized that the smoke billowing out of the car did not portend well for a good ride to the convention center.

The lack of working seatbelt should have told me to get out of the car immediately.

In retrospect, I should have asked the driver to stop, left the taxi, and walked down to the next corner and flagged down the next taxi. Instead, I kept my mouth shut and hoped we weren't in an accident.

I didn't tip that guy much. I wonder if I should have tipped him at all.