My Life, Travel

A Wild Taxi Ride…

I love to drive.  When I go to the airport, I usually leave my car at long term parking and take the airtrain to terminal 5.  I find it so much easier to have my car there.

But since my knee has been bothering me and I didn’t want to walk the distance from the airtrain to the gate, I decided to call McRides in Island Park.  (McRides changed their name recently to All Island.)

On the ride to the airport, I had a pleasant driver who told me that he lost his job, has a college degree and now he’s a taxi driver, driving people around for a 12 hour shift.  He got me thinking about how bad the economy really is.  It saddens me to know that there are just too many people without work.

When I came home from Rochester, I called McRides and told them that my plane landed.  The man on the other end of the phone instructed me to go to Passenger pick up 4 and look for an orange mini van. It was 10:30 pm.

I stood and waited.  I waited for about 10 minutes and then the driver showed up. “You waiting for a cab going to Regent Drive?” he said.

“Yup,” I said and scooted into the van.

We were driving east on the Belt Parkway. The driver asked me if the Belt hooks up with the Southern Parkway.  I said it did.  I told him that would be the best way to my home.

“No, no,” he said. “I’m going on Sunrise Highway.”  I didn’t want to fight with him but I knew that going on the Southern was much quicker than all the lights on Sunrise.

I mumbled under my breath.  I just wanted to get home.  It was a long two days and I was exhausted.  I just said, “you’re the driver.”

He was driving fast.  I closed my eyes.  He wanted to talk.  So I listened.  I found out that he graduated from my High School and we were in school together.  At one point, I noticed that he barely stopped at the stop sign that we passed.

Suddenly, I saw headlights flashing.  We were being pulled over.

“Oh no,” he said. “I don’t need another ticket.  I didn’t do anything.  Did I do anything?”

The police officer came to the window.  “License and registration,” he said.

“What did I do?  What did I do?” the taxi driver asked.

“You just speed through a top sign and your brake light is out,” he said.

I sat there and shook my head.  I can’t believe this was happening.  Will I ever get home? I tweeted out.

After about 15 minutes or so, the police officer gave him a warning and he was on his way.

“When am I supposed to get the brake light fixed?” he asked me.  “I work at night. I can’t take the car during the day!” His voice was loud and I tried to calm him down telling him it wasn’t worth it.

“Can you read this?” he asked me. “I’m confused. I can’t really read this.”  I read him what the police officer handed him. He was getting very nervous and anxious.  I just wanted to get home.

We pulled up to my house and he asked me to get behind the drivers side and put my foot on the brake.  I did.  He screamed, “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

I stepped out of the car.  He went in and put his foot on the brake.  “Do you see anything?” I told him no.  (All I wanted to do was get inside and go to bed.)

I think he sensed it.  “Okay, I’m leaving now,” he said.  And my wild ride was over.  Finally, I could go to sleep to wake up for a 7:30 am meeting!

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