Driving highlights

i love san francisco tourists

  • (Last week) I picked up an attractive young lady from a hospital out in the Richmond and took her back toward work downtown. She was (and my best guess says she still is) British and we chatted about about how she came to live in the US. All of a sudden, she clammed up. I think she thought I was hitting on her.

    Was I hitting on her? I wasn’t trying to. I was, however, trying to make conversation.

    Does that mean I’m hitting on elderly ladies when I make conversation with them? What’s the difference?

    If I try to make conversation with an elderly lady she’ll consider that just “being friendly”, whereas making conversation with an attractive female near my age necessarily indicates a desire for fornication?

    Women are frustrating.

    Let’s take this one more step. When I go to gay bars I’m often hit on by guys. Some, perhaps not all, desire fornication. Does that mean I should clam up and refuse a conversation with these men? On the contrary, I enjoy talking to nice people, regardless of their desire to have sex with me.

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but this behavior has been repeated enough times in San Francisco that I begin to notice a pattern.

  • No updates on the bag. I think it’s a goner.
  • On a closely related topic, as my street map and taxi cross-street index are now in the trusty hands of a lady (man?) of the night, I am rolling around the streets of San Francisco with no map, no guide.

    I feel like a ‘man’. Gosh, I’m on top of this. Map? I don’t need a map. Maps are for losers.

    My bubble was quickly burst this morning when a nice lady asked me to head toward Duncan and I made a turn in the opposite direction. Oops.

  • I love tourists. I can’t say this enough. I LOVE tourists.

    The City is vibrant again with the flush wallets of spring breakers, gap year partiers, and foreigners cashing in on a weak dollar.

  • (Today) I picked up a few nice young ladies heading toward Pier 39 from their ritzy boutique hotel downtown. They had partied the night away. Actually, they had partied both nights and days they had been in the City, leaving them with a great many drunk tales but no photographic proof that they had seen the traditional tourist icons of the City.

    San Francisco cabbie to the rescue! As Lombard Street was just a few blocks out of the way toward Pier 39 I offered to take a quick detour down the famous curvy street. We stopped to take some picturesque photos at the top of Hyde and Lombard which offers great views of Coit Tower, Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge. I then snaked down Lombard with cameras clacking in tow.

    This is a great way to turn an $8 fare into a $15 fare (including tips). It would have been $6 or $7 with $1 or $2 tip if I had gone direct. With our detours it was $10 and they gave me a $5 tip. Judging by their reactions they got way more than $7 of incremental value. Win, win.

    PS. I learned this trick at the great, great Bill Hancock school of Taxi. Looking past his antiquated website with embedded midi, this course was a pleasure and highly valuable at only $150. Take it if you’ve ever thought of being a cab driver.

  • I witnessed a miracle this afternoon.

    I picked up two very nice older ladies — one from Chicago and the other, well she was from Chicago too, but it sounds more exciting to note she was originally born in Argentina and retained the appropriate accent. Alone, they weren’t the miracle, but they were very nice and made quite pleasant conversation. No, they deserve more credit. I guess you could say it was they who caused the miracle.

    They were heading out to the Legion of Honor, way out in the Outer Richmond. You see, when a cab driver gets a fare way out to the Richmond or the Sunset, he or she is happy enough to get a return fare, even if it’s not going all the way downtown, as long as it’s something. Any fare is a bronze, a fare going back downtown is a silver, and the gold medal is always an airport.

    Well, my fair readers, upon arrival to the Legion of Honor I was most surprised to come across not only a bronze, not a silver, not even a gold, but a silver PLUS gold medal fare. Shall we call that a platinum? A nice young English couple needed to head back downtown to grab luggage from their hotel and then promptly head to SFO. Would I be so kind as to take them, they inquired?

    No problem, I said. Bingo! $60 fare. Add that to the $20 that the old ladies gave me, and this really made my day. A Festivus miracle!

    I love tourists.

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