What I learned from My Cabbie

I had to take my first cab last night - all the way up to the north country, from the south, downtown core. It was complicated. It took 3 tries to find a cabbie who would go to the north. Most don't have winter tires. Some don't take credit cards, some simply just won't go above the 401.

And then my savior - a wee independent who accepted all my demands - credit card *and* north. It was going to be a long drive, what, with the belly of bevvies sloshing through me. :-)

I proceeded to pepper my savior with hundreds of questions:

  1. How many cabs in his *company* - just 2.
  2. How much does it cost to be a cabbie? The general rental for the car is $75/day + gas + insurance. HOLY! The cab owner is making a zillion dollars! And if you are a brand new driver, you have to pay $80/day!
  3. How long is the shift? About 12 hours. You can go home in the middle if you want, if you've made enough to cover the cost of the car and the gas. Most days, they just make enough to cover the rental. Some days you can make quite a bit more, but not always.
  4. Is the cab owner nice? Ehhh, he's from Ghana. I don't know whether that is *yes* or a *no*, but it keeps me quiet in the back seat for a bit, trying to figure it out.
  5. Is he ready for Christmas? Almost. I'm pretty sure this is a universal answer for *No*, but no one wants to admit it.
  6. Does he take vacation? No - only Christmas Day is the day he's not going to work.

Questions I wanted to ask but didn't want to freak out the driver:

  1. Have you ever had to press the emergency button, alerting people that you were in danger?
  2. Have you ever had someone ride and dash?
  3. Has anyone ever thrown up in your backseat?
  4. Who pays for damages?

Somehow. my cabbie, who has only be in Canada for 7 years - he and his wife immigrated from India and now have 2 kids and live in the east end of the city, is able to support a family of 4 on his cab driving. I am still trying to figure out the finances on that one.

All things aside - it was a good drive, I got home safe, and virtually sober. My cabbie got a good tip. :-)

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