Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Again, taxi-drivers

Taxi-drivers again.
(someone's gotta do it, since Terz seems to have reached a momentary cease-fire with the cabbies of the world)

I knew something was wrong when the pauses started. Which way would you like to go? he asked. I gave him the route.

Pause.

Which way was that again?

I repeated the route. Silence. I could heard the wheels churning in his mind: he didn't agree with my route home. He knew a better route, he did. But he wouldn't tell me, no. He'd just let it happen, and "ask" me when it was a fait accompli, the taxi already in the fast lane going with no way of changing, the wheels already turning onto the side-road.

Which is exactly what happened. To be fair, I let my concentration lapse: I suspected exactly at which point this switcheroo would take place, and I had told myself Be Alert. Then I got lost in iPod induced Beatles reverie, and the next thing I knew, I was looking up, and the cabbie was already saying Since I'm on this road already, why don't we just ...

So it was as I had feared. Let me make it clear that his route was probably just as good, if not better than the one I chose: the point here is not efficiency of travel (the man probably saved me some money) but that I really would've appreciated him just telling me outright his intentions. It's an Asian thing, I think: we hate to say no, and so we just look for other ways - keep quiet, avoid confrontation, and quietly force the situation. Passive-aggressive taxi-drivers, really. Nothing much we can do about it, I guess, except to sagely declare "Never let an Asian drive you" (unless you're prepared to go his way). Which is patently impossible here, but is likely to be just as difficult where cabs are concerned in some other cities, given the demographics of cab drivers there.

Something completely different: for those out there with laptops, perhaps you have considered hiding it in a pizza box, non? It's funny how the site emphasises that the cases are made from "actual pizza boxes" ... which begs the question of why you couldn't just do it yourself, but then again it wouldn't be waterproof, would it? Of course, their definition of waterproof is you can put the pizza box in a bag. Vague suspicion that this pizza box laptop holder is a clever hoax, but I wonder how many people will actually pay for this, given that it's got a price and all.

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