As the Meter Turns

I was walking out of Mesa restaurant, where I had a fabulous dinner with two friends, and started looking for a cab. Reaching the corner of 15th and 6th Avenue, I got a taxi right away. I immediately took note of my driver who looked Japanese and had a long gray ponytail, despite his big bald spot in the back of his head.

“31st and 7th Ave–the New Jersey transit Penn Station entrance please–and you can go around the block to get there. I’m pregnant and dont want to walk from 6th Ave,” I requested.

“Okay, no problem,” He replied in a whisper as if he had laryngitis.

Then I noticed an unexpected sound. Mr. Ponytail was staring at something in the passenger seat where I heard a muffled female voice. It wasn’t the radio. My first thought was he kidnapped a girl and baby wilson and I were next! Then I realized the voice probably didn’t have a sock in its mouth with duct tape covered over it because she was now clearly speaking another language. It sounded cutesy, almost like a character in a Japanese porn (not something I watch, of course!

“Is that Japanese?” I asked?

“No. Korean,” he responded hoarsely. He kept looking to his right at stop lights and even intermittently while driving, but never offered to say what he was doing.

The female voice kept going. What the hell was going on?!I had to take a peek.

I leaned over the plastic divider in between myself and the driver and looked to the right. A laptop! This guy was streaming a Korean soap opera on his computer while driving!

I thought I had seen it all in cabs: a driver in a stolen taxi; driver with a dog in lap; driver showing me an art portfolio of comic drawings; and even a driver playing the trumpet while driving! But watching TV on a laptop? That was a new low in the category of “bored taxi drivers who just don’t give a $hit”! I was in so much shock I couldn’t even complain. I spent the last minutes of my 10-min ride trying to find the right moment to take a video clip, during which tragic music played at the end of what must have been a dramatic seen.

At least the tragic music wasn’t being played for me–I made it to Penn Station in one piece, but I couldn’t help wondering…what will happen to that poor girl on the show? And what about her baby? Will she survive?

10 responses to “As the Meter Turns

  1. This is my first time commenting but I have been following your blog for a while. I love the whole concept of it! Cabbies seem to be the same the world over. I've had similar experiences in Boston and London.Crazy stuff.

  2. Hi Zoe, thanks for commenting, I love to hear from my readers! I had some fun encounters in London. I would love to go back (when it's warm!). You just reminded me that I should do a flashback post of my cab experiences in Asia when I was living in Taiwan. Will put something together soon šŸ™‚

  3. I would have been screaming at the driver to pay attention and drive!!! That is so dangerous to be watching TV while driving anywhere, let along in a taxi in Manhattan. OMG…

  4. People do crazy things. You mentioned a driver with dog… I was scared out of my witts when a car came scretching by me the other day and all I could see was this large shaggy dogs head sticking out of the drivers window. When it was finally side to side of me I could see a small elderly man who could barely see over the dashboard – much less over the huge dog on his lap.

    I guess it beats the time I saw a live cat just sitting on the dashboard going down the highway?? Some people are far out there…..

  5. LOL love your reaction Tracy. Yes, if I had known from the very beginning what was going on I would have been screaming too. Luckily it was a quick trip! I will yell at a taxi driver even if he is on a handsfree phone. I tend to get into fights a lot with drivers..I've been kicked out of many cabs because of that!

  6. Was it a seeing eye dog with the old man? LOL People and their driving habits, so crazy. I wouldn't want my pet in the front seat with me–especially since I always seem to get the hyperactive pets.

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