Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Taxi Talk

I had a snippet of a discussion with someone about how the culture of the DC area is such that people take taxis infrequently and typically in specific circumstances so don't have the etiquette of queuing up or leaving space between yourself and the next person trying to hail a cab. I usually have a backup plan that involves public transportation. And then there is the zones in DC (which I like even though I tend not to need a cab the times of day it would really work for me) and the meters in Maryland and the rules and laws that govern border crossing.
So, last evening (or this morning, if you will) I understood that the other folks standing about Bethesda Metro (metro now closed) were not being deliberately rude (in most cases) as they jumped forward for cabs. I also, having made the trip from Friendship Heights to home (admittedly a bit closer) had a sense of what the ride should cost. I had no idea I would need that information.
So, when I finally managed to get into a cab without anyone else piling their six friends into it (I wasn't against sharing, but really) I told the cab driver the address, and honestly when he rolled his eyes and said, "DC, again? I am so tired of going to DC," - I should have gotten out. I don't mean to be overly dramatic I got home safely and that was the important part. But really. So, he suggested taking East West to 16th, I agreed that would work but apparently he thought maybe Military would be better and I said I was farther down then Military (I was having trouble deciding if he was trying to get the best route or figure out where I lived or what.) So then he tells me, "Thirty five dollars." I responded that no way, last time the ride had been ten (yes, a marginally shorter distance but hey, if we're going to bargain...) So then, he says it couldn't be ten and he doesn't know where to go because I won't tell him. I responded that at this point my concern was the cost because there was no way I was paying thirty five dollars (did I look drunk?) and if that's what he wanted we needed to stop.
So then, the cab driver tells me he will turn on the meter (hey, there's an idea) but I need to remember to add a dollar because he had not turned it on before and he will do it just to show me that there is no way it could be ten dollars. And so, he was very pleased with himself when the meter hit ten. Total cost (including the dollar if we assume he was correct and we had really gone over half a mile when he turned it on) $16. So, not ten. But closer to ten than thirty five. So, forgive me for hoping that the speed cameras on Military and Sixteenth might have caught him since he had it up to eighty trying to get me out of his cab.
Happy New Year. Hope everyone is safe and well.