Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Where Have All The Arabs Gone?

Apologies for the lack of posting recently but I think the Twittering is getting the best of my material. Having said that, I am Twittering less by the day. I do find it interesting to receive Tweets from all the people I “follow” on there and it is more up close and personal than reading someone’s blog but I will endeavour to return here from time to time to update what I’m sure is one of the longest running, if not the first, blog about the London Licensed Taxi Trade.

Without harping on too much about Twitter I have found that I now work slightly differently. I read the Tweets as they arrive and get a feel for the areas where there is work, or more recently, a lack of it. August is traditionally a bad month and it’s very noticeable. It’s also Ramadan at the moment an the distinct lack of the Edgware Road Arabs has been felt by all of us. You don’t realize how often they take cabs in and around the Edgware Road area going hither and thither and I for one will be glad when things get back to normal which, if I’ve read it right on Wikipedia, should be from the 20th of September.

I’ve also been doing my bit to reclaim the work that has been stolen by the minicabs. The nightclub Tiger Tiger in Haymarket is where I’ve been returning to when in the area and there has been some very nice work coming out of there. Last week I picked up a couple who refused to use a miniscab that had blatantly tried to tout them in front of me and I took them down to Colliers Wood. I think the guy thought he was on a promise but his bird had other ideas so I ended up taking him all the way to Canary Wharf for a total fare of £80. Just think, the miniscabs have been nicking this work for years and charging even more than that!!

I’ve had two roaders in the past week. One was from Edgware Road all the way to Englefield Green in Surrey. He was eating something all the way there which smelt revolting but I wasn’t going to upset him by telling him to wait until he got home so I grinned and bared it and got £80 for my trouble. The other one was last night. A bit shorter but nice all the same. Lowndes Street out to Shepperton, right next door to the film studios. A lively old bird who was chatting on her phone for most of the journey but still had her eye on the road as I almost took a wrong turning causing her to call out to me. Fare: £60.

Last Thursday I had the Radio Taxis equipment stripped out of the cab for the fourth time in my cab-driving career. I think it was a combination of me not doing it justice and there also not being sufficient work out there to justify paying them forty quid a week. I’ll miss the credit card facility but I will eventually sign up to one of these companies and get a chip & pin machine to be able to continue doing the credit card work. Anyone suggest a good company that isn’t too expensive??

My mate Chris AKA TitanicCabby is now back driving his Mercedes Vito. He’s been using his brother’s cab for a couple of weeks whilst his was being repaired after a front and rear end shunt in Staples Corner. He’s still experiencing a few problems with the electric doors but I think all that needs doing is waiting a few extra seconds once the parking brake has been applied.

So we’re now into September, the kids are back at school and now hopefully there’ll be plenty of work to see us up to Christmas. I won’t hold my breath though!!

Take care out there.