Share A Taxi, Share Some Kindness

, , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2020

When I was fifteen, I went on a trip to my cousin, who lived in Vienna, Austria. I’m from The Netherlands, so I had to take four different trains to get there, and for two of them I had to make a reservation. I was at the station on time, but the first train had a delay of half an hour, which meant that I would miss the next train that would take me through Germany and for which I had made a reservation. I started panicking on the first train and called my parents on my old Nokia, but of course, they couldn’t do anything, either.

When I got to the station, I was almost in tears. Wi-Fi wasn’t a thing and I didn’t know what to do or who to call. But then, a man came up to me, and asked me where I was heading and if I wanted to share a taxi. It’s not usual in The Netherlands to take a taxi, as the public transport is very good, plus it’s way too expensive for a fifteen-year-old, so I didn’t think of it myself. I heard my mom’s voice in my head, saying that I shouldn’t go to a different country in a strange car with a man I didn’t know, but I really didn’t have a choice.

So, we went to the taxis and found a guy who would take us to the town the train was supposed to go. He charged 90 euros, and the man and I agreed that he would pay 70, and I would pay 20, as I didn’t have that much money.

During the ride, the man turned out to be really nice. He was from Brazil, living in Germany, so we spoke to each other in a mix of German and English. Even though I didn’t always understand what he was saying, he still managed to calm me down.

When we got to the station, even though he had to travel a bit further to get to his home, he got out of the car to help me get my bags. I took my wallet to get him the 20 euros I owed him, but he pushed my hand away and said, “No, no, it’s okay. I’ll pay it. Enjoy your stay at your cousin’s.”

This happened seven years ago and I still think of it. It probably didn’t mean a lot to him, but it sure did mean a lot to me. He made me realise that day what being kind and giving what you can miss — 20 euros weren’t a lot to him, but to me, at fifteen, it was — can mean to someone else. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I made the train.

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Hopefully Their Health Turns Around Faster

, , , , , | Working | February 26, 2020

I recently returned to work after being in the hospital for an operation, but I was told to go back to hospital if I get into severe pain. On my third day back at work, I collapse and my team leader gets me a [Rideshare] to get to hospital, setting up the pickup point on the right side of the road. I manage to stagger downstairs and wait for the [Rideshare] while all but collapsing on the pavement.

When the [Ride Share] driver arrives, he’s on the other side of the road with six lanes of traffic as well as buses and trams between us.

Me:
“Come over here!”

Driver:
“I can’t turn around!”

Me:
“Come over here! I can’t cross the road.”

Driver:
“I can’t do a U-turn here!”

I am about to faint from the intense pain I am in, so I scream at him.

Me:
“Get the f*** over here! I don’t care how you do it! I’m in f****** pain!”

The driver then went around the block and comes onto the right side of the road to pick me up. He got a one-star rating.

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Her Behavior Took A U-Turn

, , , , , | Right | January 16, 2020

(I’m a driver for a particular rideshare company. I have a passenger in my car who’s been quiet, for the most part, until I approach an intersection where I’m to turn right. The light is red and there’s a blind corner, meaning I can’t see what’s approaching from the left until it’s right in front of me. For this reason, I’m waiting for the light to turn green before I make the turn. I mean, duh.)

Passenger: “Uh, I don’t see a ‘no right turns on red’ sign here.”

(I’m about to say something like, “Excuse me?” when all of a sudden a wave of cars comes zooming along from the left. There was no warning. If I’d been in the intersection they definitely would have hit me.)

Me: “Yeah, as you can see, the corner’s blind.”

(Later on, she berated me for pulling over on the right side of the street to let her out instead of making an illegal — and dangerous — U-turn. Sadly, she’s not even the first passenger I’ve had who seems to think I’m immune to the laws of physics and traffic. One star for her.)

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We Can Relate In Spirit

, , , , | Right | November 22, 2019

(Driving for Uber late one night, I pick up a rider after the bars close.)

Me: “So, how was your evening?”

Rider: “Well, it started out pretty good. Then, it got bad. Then, I poured tequila on it.”

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Being Childless Can Be Taxi-ing 

, , , , , , , | Working | October 28, 2019

I was meeting a friend for breakfast one morning, and rather than drive I decided to get a taxi using a well-known taxi app.

Everything was going fine until I innocently mentioned that my weekend plans involved visiting my baby niece. The driver asked if I had kids or was married, and I happily said no and that I had no intention of either.

Big. Mistake.

I was treated to the remaining fifteen-minute journey listening to a lecture on how his culture’s children were better than mine because they stay with their parents, care for them, and don’t leave them. He said I probably moved out as soon as I could, because that is what “my culture” encouraged. He was genuinely shocked when I said I visit my parents weekly and we all live very close to each other.

As I seriously considered how painful it would be to ditch out of a car doing 40 mph on a busy road, he then started extolling the benefits of arranged marriage, how well it worked, and why it was the best thing ever. He said I should really consider it because I need to have kids, because who would look after me when I am old, otherwise?

Throughout, his tone was calm and reasonable, and he kept asking if I agreed with him — prompting non-committal noises from me. I was honestly worried at making him angry if I disagreed, like he was waiting for me to say something.

When we arrived at the restaurant, he parked about as far away as he could manage. It was raining. I didn’t care. 

Next time someone asks me about my personal life, I’m going to stick to the tried and tested “Yes, I have a son! He is three and moves very quickly! He’s a fussy eater, though. Want to see a picture? Yes, I know that’s a snake… Where are you going?”

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