Being “New” Will Get Me To Let You Try And Kill Me With Your Taxi Cab.

 

“What’s that dinging?  Something is dinging?”

The cab driver looks around his dashboard and shrugs.  “Is dinging, yes.  I hear.  I dunno.”

“Maybe my door is still open. Or yours…”

He sort of pulls over, but comes to a complete stop, opens his door, and slams it.

ding ding ding ding ding

He looks at me, so I do the same.

ding ding ding ding ding

He opens the trunk and closes it, shrugs, gets in the car again and starts to drive.

ding ding ding

It looks like his seatbelt is not on, so I suggest that maybe the dinging is because his seat belt is not fastened.

“I dunno belt.”

Clearly I must not have heard him right.  I’m not quite sure where to go from here, so I sit and blink for a few seconds.  Surely he has to wear a seat belt – it’s the law.  Then he turns to me at a red light and says, “If you can direct, we will get there.  I am new.”

“Huh?  You don’t know how to get to JFK?  Oh… you know, I’m not from here…”

“Not to be nervous.  I have GPS and map.”  He pulls out a hand drawn map.

ding ding ding

I look around at the street signs, and though I have no idea where I am – I am clearly still in a busy part of town.

Thought process:

Get the hell out of the cab.  I’m sure you, your two carry-ons, and your over-sized fifty pound suitcase will only sit on the street corner for a matter of minutes before another cab comes along.

He’s new.  He’s just trying to make a living.  I’ll use the GPS on my phone to make sure we’re going the right way.

You’re ridiculous.  You get lost using your GPS at least once a week.  If you get lost and miss your flight you will regret it.

If I don’t give him a chance, who will? Let’s save the world.

“I can also pull it up on my phone” I say.

ding ding ding

The light turns green and he turns left across three lanes of traffic from a non-turn lane as I silently beat myself.

 

We become that car…

The car in the tunnel that goes only 2 miles an hour.  The car that has twenty cars lined up behind it honking.  The car that everyone thinks must have a 90 year old or a drunk driver behind the wheel.

The car that ends up on the toll road driving straight down the dotted lines instead of inbetween them…

I realize now that when the man said he was new, he meant not only to New York – but to driving as well.

Get out of the fucking cab!

We’re on the highway!  There is no where to get out!

ding ding ding

I see a sign for JFK.

“You should get in the left lane. That sign says JFK.”

He starts to swerve to the right.

“No!  Left!  The left lane.  The left lane!” I say, pointing furiously.

He looks back at me perplexed.

I point to the sign. “We want to go in the direction  of JFK.  Look!  The left lane.”

I swallow yet another revelation that “I’m new” was in reference to New York, driving, and the English language.

He slows down and slowly creeps to the right again as a car blares it’s horn and passes us.

“NO! Left!  Left!  Not this way!  That way!”

He then stops the cab

in

the

middle

of

the

interstate.

The car behind us screeches to a halt, and cars zoom by on both sides.  He turns the wheel to the left and from what I can tell begins to make a u-turn into oncoming traffic.

I drop my jaw… and scream.

Cars are shaking the cab with the speed at which they are zooming by, and I have no control over the high-pitch sound that is coming out of my throat.

I would like to note here that I am not a screamer.  In fact, screaming irritates me.  So not only am I screaming like I’m going to die – I’m also simultaneously annoyed as fuck at myself.

The cab driver looks wide-eyed at me, and his GPS falls ceremoniously off his dash in what I assume is a message to kiss this world goodbye.  I start pounding on the partition:

“Go! Drive! You can’t stop in the middle of the highway!  We’re going to get hit!”

He steps on the gas and ends up miraculously in the left lane to JFK.

Have him pull over and just get out on the shoulder.  Standing in the shoulder with cars whizzing by at 75 MPH is still safer than staying in this death cab.

Shut up.  If I survive, this is going to be a great blog post.

I look at my phone and it tells me we are very close to JFK.  He is only driving about 20 miles an hour and cars continue to whizz past us and flip the bird.  I do what any other traumatized passenger would do – I pull out my make up bag and attempt to normalize the situation by applying concealer under my eyes.

 

Three minutes, some pressed powder, and a little blush later I check out my GPS to see the little blue dot moving backwards…

backwards…

away from the airport.

“Nononononono.  My phone says we’re going the wrong way!  We were almost there.  We were almost there.  You have to get off.  Get off the highway and go back the other direction.  DON’T STOP!  Exit there.”

I once again begin pointing furiously and hyper ventilating.

He exits the highway and pulls off to the side (thank goodness) and stops.

“So sorry miss.  Meter is no go right now.  I dunno.”

Get out of the cab now like you should’ve done when he first told you he didn’t know how to get to the airport.

We are very close.  I don’t know this neighborhood.  By the time I get another cab, we could be there.

We turn around and five long minutes later we pull up to JFK.

ding ding ding

I want to scream at him.  I want to cry with relief at not being dead.  I want to ponder why things like this happen to me, but really it’s best just to now…

finally…

get out of the fucking cab.

The driver comes around to me and looks absolutely pitiful.  “I am so sorry miss.  It was bad for me too.  I am new.”

“Do you have a driver’s license?” I ask.

He pulls it out and shows it to me.

“Can you read?” I ask.

*pause* “I am practicing.”

“You should not drive.” I said softly.  “You are dangerous.”

I take my bags, and dazedly make it over to check in and security.

I stroll up to a fine dining restaurant near my gate and gasp at the menu.  I let the hostess show me to a table and plop down finally exhaling.

I’m not quite sure how to process or unwind from what just happened, but a $26 salad seems like a good place to start.

I type a quick note into my phone:

Cab #4E78 – death cab.  Complain.  Write post.  He’s new.

 

 

 



28 responses to “Being “New” Will Get Me To Let You Try And Kill Me With Your Taxi Cab.”

  1. I’m dying, this is so good. I hope your $26 salad was amazing.

  2. Alison says:

    Oh my lord.

    I’m glad you survived. xo

    (and it did make a good blog post)

  3. Kir says:

    HOLY….OMG!
    I’m so glad i got to at least meet you for a few seconds at BlogHer…dear GOD.

    great post my *New* friend. 🙂

  4. NerdMom says:

    Holy crap! There is nothing else to say!

  5. Jill says:

    Wow…just wow! I probably would have cried and kissed the ground when I got out.

  6. Alexandra says:

    OMG, Jenni.

    Hilarious, yes?

    That it was you?

    Made me cry.

    Why you?

    After everything else at BlogHer.

    WHy you, my precious Jenni.

    i love you.

  7. BigMamaCass says:

    OMG!!!! I would have died. In the cab. You are brave.

  8. oh holy crap. makes me miss new york. not gonna lie

  9. Jen says:

    And I thought my cab rides were bad… this is horrible.

  10. My mind won’t let me comprehend this {jaw on ground}… except for the part where you think, “Shut up. If I survive, this is going to be a great blog post.” I TOTALLY get that 😉

    Glad you are safe. SO glad!

  11. Kat says:

    You’re right…it DID make for a great blog post! Way to go!!

  12. Lady Jennie says:

    Jenni!! How do these things happen to you???

    But yes – they make a great blog post.

  13. John says:

    Ok – in order to be licensed as a cabbie in NYC, you need to not only be able to read English, but know how to get to several landmarks (Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, South Street Seaport, Penn Station, Port Authority, Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center . . . there are a bunch more, but you get the point).

    I have no idea how this cabbie bilked the system, but damn, is that scary. I’m glad you ended up ok and managed to get where you needed to, unharmed. But damn, that’s a scary tale.

  14. Um yeah, I had a panic attack reading that. Glad you’re alive! xo

  15. Let’s face it. We knew this would happen. First the computer, then the table, then the 1,000 lb. suitcase…it was written. I’m sure you also had to keep your plane in the sky using only your brain. The good news is that now you are in karmic line for nothing but smooth sailing. For at least three days, and maybe even four. (Did you get your info back on your computer?) Reading you makes me miss you, you gorgeous bitch!

  16. This story had me captivated… I kept hoping you would jump out…lol But glad you stayed in because this story was a hoot! Note to self~ ask how long Taxi Driver has been driving before you get in to it. Thanks for telling such a scary experience! Glad you’re SAFE!

    XOXO,
    Cindy

  17. Hi Jenni! I just wanted to let you know I blogged about you today because I love you and your blog! http://dazedandcreative.blogspot.com/2012/08/laughter-is-best-medicine.html
    Kim

  18. Marta says:

    OMG I’m sorry. But also fucking hilarious. At least at the time you already knew that if you do survive what sounds like the death cab (and no cutie in sight) that you will have a great post.

  19. […] I went to New York, attended a conference, met with old friends, broke my laptop, and had a cab driver try to kill me. […]

  20. Dixie Frasier says:

    ”I am so sorry miss. It was bad for me too. I am new.”

    Yeah, Like I haven’t heard THAT excuse before.

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