Saturday, May 20, 2006

Good Start

I had a cracking first job yesterday from what’s fast becoming the place to pick up. A man flagged me down in Maida Vale. I seem to trap here every time I start work. It’s quite an exclusive area with many well-known residents. I live just a few hundred yards from the main Maida Vale road but in a different borough so my street is nowhere near as posh. Anyway, this guy was all flustered and obviously under extreme pressure to run some errands for whoever paid his wages. First stop and most importantly was a cash point to get my money. From there we went straight into the West End to Massimo Dutti on Regent Street. If any of you know Regent Street during the day it’s impossible to park there let alone wait for any length of time while people nip out to do a spot of shopping. He expected me to simply pull up outside the shop and wait. I told him he had Bob Hope and no hope of me doing that and I would have to wait a couple of streets away. He wasn’t too happy about that but it was the only option. 20 minutes later he returns weighed down with bags and more stressed out than ever. Next stop was Russell & Bromley, a shoe shop in Conduit Street. A bit easier to wait here but still busy with wardens lurking. He was in and out in 2 minutes empty handed. Gucci in Sloane Street was next. He spent 15 minutes in there and I had to drive round the block twice due to being moved on. I was getting a bit stressed myself but consoled myself in the knowledge that this would be a good earner.

Gucci, Sloane Street, Chelsea

Onto Its’u, a Sushi Bar on Walton Street, Chelsea “to get myself some lunch” he said. I tried Sushi recently and spat it out as it tasted revolting.

Its'u, Walton Street, Chelsea

Next stop was The Conran Shop on Sloane Avenue. It had a cab rank right outside the door but the goods must have been ready for collection as he came out loaded with bags within about a minute. Gordon Watson in Fulham Road was next. He was struggling with a heavy box so I jumped out and gave him a hand. Last pick up was a shop in Kings Road called Guinevere. It was all blacked out so I couldn’t see what type of shop it was but he came out with more bags. The back of the cab was looking pretty full now as we drove to the Old Gasworks behind the Harley Davidson shop where he had an office. Total fare for an hour and a half’s work with a bit of stress thrown in…….£60 including a nice tip. One of those a day and life would be sweet.

As he was getting out there were people waiting to get in. I took them in to Central London and decided to get to a bank before a long job took me out of the area. I found a parking spot on Dover Street and someone had kindly left an hour and a half on the meter. At £1 for each 15 minutes that worked out to £6 they’d left on there. I took the opportunity to get myself some lunch from Prêt a Manger in Piccadilly and sat in the cab watching the world go by using up the previous motorists’ parking time. Can it get any better than that?

The only other fare with anything to comment on was a frail old lady I picked up from Paddington Station. They brought her to the cab on one of those buggies and it took her a few minutes to get in, prompting the cabs waiting behind me to honk their horns. We set off towards Liverpool Street Station and I knew it was going to be a heavy journey due to the cross-town traffic. Half way down Park Lane she pipes up with “Driver, where on earth are we going?” “Liverpool Street” I pipe back. “Why are we going west then?” (We were travelling south east) “You’re obviously not a local so why don’t you just relax and enjoy the ride?” she muttered something unintelligible and we continued on our way. The traffic was bad all the way and I half expected her to comment on the ever increasing metered fare. When we got to Liverpool Street Station I had to go and find the Customer Assistance guys to come and collect her with another buggy (leaving the meter running of course). That added another couple of pounds as they took nearly 10 minutes. The fare was £23 and she gave me £4 on top and thanked me for my help. What a nice old dear!
So, the verdict on my first full week of day work? Hard work but quite enjoyable and profitable.


wil said...

Shoot Up Hill becomes Kilburn High Road and then transforms into Maida Vale.

We have the same situation here. Same damn road but the name of it can change three or four times, in a very short distance.

Just curious, how did Shoot Up Hill get its name? Sounds like something out of the American southwest.

london_cabby said...

And Maida Vale becomes Edgware Road. The whole shebang is numerically called the A5. The naming of these roads were in place long before I was born but I'm sure a website exists that could explain it.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear your day time work is paying the bills

Cheffe said...

I looove Sushi. :D
I didn't like it until I got to China and we have Sushi places all around and the stuff is cheap and fresh. Before I got here I thought that this stuff is disgusting but it is actually quite nice. Couldn't really get into chicken feet though.
Good to hear to you get well with day work.

Annamarie said...

Thanks for bringing back such great memories of my first trip to London in 2004, reading your blog entry has just been pure nostalgia, and i'm love it, Keep it up!

A fan
Cape Town, South Africa