It seems to have become a tradition, stemming from British people’s innate awkwardness, to engage in conversation with your taxi driver with a limited set of questions. And because your driver will never remark on this commonly known fact, the cycle will continue until one day someone will ask a genuinely remarkable question which will change the game forever.
Here are a few choice queries that we all feel compelled to ask our driver, even though we already know the answer.
Been Busy Tonight?
Of course they have. It’s Friday night, and you’ve been waiting in a queue for a good solid twenty minutes. Cabbies probably hear this question from every passenger that climbs into the backseat. Even though they tell you that they hope it isn’t too busy, the reality is that you hope it is so that you maximise on fares!
What Time Are You On ‘Til?
The question probably stems from a genuine sympathy from you having to work so late into the night when their night has only just begun. Cabbies usually knock off into the early hours of the morning if they’re on an evening shift, so you never know, you may meet again when they’re making their way home.
Can’t You Go a Bit Faster?
This one isn’t the best of questions to hear. As a cabbie, before people discovered GPS, you’re expected to know all the ins and outs, nooks and crannies and shortcuts around the area. Even though top notch knowledge is beneficial in the business, according to customers this means that you should be able to sneak down an alleyway to avoid all the traffic. To avoid confrontation, however, it’s best to stay civil and rise above it.
Now, passengers aren’t the only guilty party. Cabbies also have their fair share of questions ready to ask during a particularly quiet journey home.
Where To, Love?
A necessary question, yes, but when asked to passengers who are slightly inebriated, it can be the most difficult question in the world. “Here.” “Home.” “Next door to the chicken shop.”
Alternatively, you may have been given directions that leave you on the other side of town, to discover that your customer seems to have passed out on the back seat.
Depending on who you’re talking to, this could go very wrong indeed. A lot of nights out are often full of drama and sometimes heartache. If you dare to ask this question, make sure you’re prepared for the answer.
Are You Going To Be Sick?
Unless your years of experience have led you wrong, then you probably already know the very unfortunate answer. The decision you have to make is do you or do you not stop the meter on your pitstop?