My U2 phase continues. I thought I was playing them too much recently and stopped but after a few days started again and their songs sounded even better. It was while I was playing "Where the streets have no name" from their Joshua Tree album that I found my self driving up on Canary Wharf. The maps on my satnav are not fully up to date and only certain streets in this area are named. The rest come up as "No name" hence my reference to the song mentioned above. I found it humourous if nobody else did.
I don't generally work so far to the east of town but I ended up there after I was hailed by what I'm almost sure was a high class call girl in Kensington with an address on a scrap of paper. She asked me how much it would be to that part of town and I told her it would be the best part of £30. When I did "The Knowledge" to become a cab driver most of this side of town was derelict. 16 years on and it's all completely changed. There are hundreds of appartment complexes all with names I've never heard of. The street she was looking for actually showed up on the satnav which surprised me but we had a lot of trouble locating the appartment block and the meter clicked up to £29 by the time I found it. She was a bit flustered and produced a handfull of scrunched up banknotes telling me to keep the change. As I straightened out the notes I saw there were two twenties and a ten, fifty in all. £21 tip. That's the best one I've had for a while, even if it was probably a mistake. Back on Canary Wharf the doorman of an office block flagged me down, hopped in and directed me round to another door with two brand new Bentley's sitting outside. A stunning blonde got in. The voice she had didn't match the look. She was talking on the phone and every other word was either "fucking this or that" or "that bitch". She then said "Can we go to Koko's in Camden and I need to stop somewhere to get some fags". Off I went on what was going to be a good ride. The tirade continued until we reached the Texaco garage on The Highway when she got out to buy the fags (cigarettes). When she returned she carried on with her phone conversation. From what I could gather she was talking to her mum. She had just been at the unveiling of the latest Bentley with her father and there were a lot of important people there. She was introduced to a young lady (25 she said) who was married to a 75 year old man (gold digger perhaps?). The lady asked he if she knew her husband to which my one said no but my dad does. A catty remark was made and the whole atmosphere changed causing my one to make a sharp exit. And here she was in my cab telling all her friends about it. Are all women that bitchy? I think they must be because listening to my own daughter chat to her pals all they seem to do is slag each other off. Once my passenger had finished telling the story to everyone in her phone book she turned her attention to me and started telling me it all over again. It seemed like a storm in a teacup to me but it bothered her so like the good listener I am, well...I listened. I then chipped in with a few suggestions and we got on famously. It turns out she is a reporter with one of our top newspapers, I won't say which one, and she was covering the Bentley story etc etc etc. The subject got on to tipping and how some people are tightfisted with their money. She said she'd give me a good tip as it was on the company. The job ended with £27 on the meter and she gave me £30. I had a nice run of jobs all night after that. All of them going over £10. My last job took me from Bermondsey Street to Golders Green which is a loveley job to finish up with if you live where I do. The guy was an accountant specialising in tax and, I'm no expert but given his area of residence and a certain look, most definitely Jewish. I always get on well with these people and I ended up telling him my life story and he in turn told me his. He was going through a crisis with his wife and just wanted to be free of her but it was going to cost him big-time to get a divorce. He told me all he wanted to do was travel the world on his own as he was a loner. I think he was glad to be able to unload on someone because he also gave me a nice tip. 15 minutes later I was at home eating steak pie chips and beans and looking back on a good nights work. (No pics today as there was nothing worth photographing)