Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Not enough hours in the day.

I try to post at least once a week these days but I seem to have overdone it. I haven't died and I haven't given up the fight I just ain't had time to sit here and do this.

I am still waiting for a decent cab and the one I'm driving is falling apart. I ask every time I'm in the garage and always get the same answer that I'm next on the list.

I recently upgraded my satnav to one that is pocket-pc based. I had an ipaq that my brother Joe kindly let me have after my Palm was stolen and I always meant to get the software for it but just never got round to it. So recently I bought the Tomtom Navigator 5 software from eBay and also a Bluetooth gps unit and it all works fine. One gripe I have is that the maps of the Docklands and Canary Wharf are out of date. I bought what I thought were the latest maps from the Tomtom site but they turned out to be the same ones that came with TTN5 so, always needing to have the latest stuff, I went back onto eBay and came across a seller who was selling Tomtom 6 for £30 on "Buy it now". I bought it immediately thinking I would be up to date in a few days. Next I get an email from eBay saying that the listing has been removed because there was some funny business going on and they advised me not to go ahead with the purchase! Problem is I've already paid the guy. I emailed him with my concern and he's assured me the software will be sent as promised so hopefully I might have it installed in the cab over the next few days. I'll let you know the outcome.

I almost picked up Rod Stewart and his latest “lurve” recently but missed them as the cab in front of me got there first. They were coming out of a designer shop on Sloane Street in posh Chelsea and were immediately swamped by paparazzi. Just as well really as “The London cabby” ain’t ready to grace the pages of the world’s glamour mags just yet!!

Sometime last week I picked up three guys from La Famiglia restaurant in Kings Road and dropped them at various places. The last one was American and looked quite distinguished and rich and I couldn’t help but think I’d seen him possibly on TV somewhere. Once the other two got out he started talking to me about my job and was interested in how much I make and what I pay for the cab. He was telling me how the New York cabbies have it really tough and have to work all the hours under the sun just to break even. I told him I’d picked up a NYC cabbie a few months back (I forgot to mention it in my posts) who said the same thing and he informed me that he himself had once been a New York cabbie. I asked if he still did it, half knowing that he didn’t, and he had a little titter to himself and said not anymore. I caught his name when they were all talking as Jonathan so wondered if anyone out there that knows of a 50 to 60 year old Jonathan who was once a New York cabbie who has made good and is possibly on TV or in the public eye.

I picked up a nutter (nut job, fruit loop) yesterday. A mad woman who started ranting at me because three cabbies before me had drove off almost taking her hand with them as she tried to get in. I felt like doing the same but was in need of money so decided to see this one through to its conclusion. First of all she directed me to stop outside WH Smiths on Notting Hill Gate while she ran in to look for a friend of hers. I told her that it wasn’t possible to stop let alone wait where she wanted me to and that I’d have to stop a little further away. She started screaming at me and called me a useless bastard and opened the door and stormed off into the shop leaving her handbag and various carrier bags on the back seat and the door wide open. I knew she had a screw loose and never took offence at the insults; I’ve been called a lot worse things in my time. I jumped out and shut the door and pulled forward a touch so that the buses could get round me. Had there been no bags in the back I would probably have driven away but obviously had to wait for the mad bitch to come back with her buddy. It was rush hour and it seemed like every bus in London was coming round the corner. They all honked at me as I was blocking the approach to their bus stop. At this point a traffic warden decided to make himself busy and asked me to move off. I’d had enough. I got out, opened the back door and took the woman’s stuff out and threw it at the warden’s feet. I told him that when a crazy looking lady in a black and white checked coat came back to this spot he should give her her stuff back. I got back into the cab and drove off and noticed that the warden was also walking away from the bundle on the pavement. On reflection I was probably out of order but the stresses and strains of trying to do your job when so much is against you can sometimes cause you make such rash decisions. I’d like to think she was on her way back to the cab and managed to pick up her stuff before someone stole it but I’ll never know now.

I received my new Sony Ericsson K800i mobile phone this morning. It has a 3 mega pixel camera and I intend to use it to start posting more pics as you’ve probably noticed I haven’t posted any recently. I should have another post for you in a few days.

Sony Ericsson K800


John said...

Thought you had been kidnapped.Good to have you back.Don't beat yourself up over throwing yer wans stuff out. Next time take it to the carrage office lost property office(and let theem take it)
Good to see your nice new phone.Threaten to go to another cab company, at least look see. Good men are hard to find.

Anonymous said...

you should never sold your tx2

Loui said...

Phew! I thought here I am just starting to enjoy your stories and you bugger off!!!! I normally get all the nutters come and find me you know, so glad to know it's not just me! There are lots of taxi garages their bluff and try a new one to see how they compare. You may even like it :)

Jackie xx

Keith said...

Glad you're back posting.

Sorry to hear you are still hassled by nutters.

jo said...

Hi little bro

You certainly do pick em - you must have a nut magnet attached to you somewhere!!

People like that woman don't deserve the niceties of life, because they think that everyone is at their beck and call. I probably would have handed her stuff to lost property though.

Looking forward to seeing some of your new pics.

Love big sis x

onzon said...

Some great stories here, only found your site yesterday. If you hear anything about the new TX4 in your travels, please let us all know.


Anonymous said...

Why do taxi drivers rent their cabs for ( 180 -200 plus per week )Surly it would be cheaper to buy a brand new one and finance it. 30k loan is cheaper then 200 a week. what are the extra cost you have to consider when you buy your own cab.

G.S. said...

Wish I could tell you who "Jonathan" might be, but he really could be anyone. It's not unusual for a middle-aged person who is successful in some other field to have once been a NYC taxi driver. That's because, unlike London, getting a hack license is easy and cheap. Therefore many drivers do it as a part-time or getting-through-college thing, then leave the profession with happy memories (and some stories). FYI, cabbies in NYC lease their cabs for a 12 hour shift that goes from 5 o'clock to 5 o'clock (day and night shifts). It takes about 5 hours to break even on the leasing fee. And the vehicles, which are driven around the clock, are mandatorily taken off the streets after 3 years. During that time they will put about 225,000 miles on the odometer.

Rach said...


Like the new phone, will look forward to seeing some new photos of around London on your nightly tours.
I know someone who would have liked to pick up Rod Stewart, im sure were both thinking about the same cabbie eh?
Good luck with the nutters but im sure you'll get a few more before you give up the old cab.

london_cabby said...

Hi Rach
good to hear from you. May that other cabbie get back to work soon as London's not the same without him.