Surviving Dublin a city with more taxis than New York. Dublin is a passengers paradise and a taxi drivers hell
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Time for a little downtime. I wonder where my good frend John is heading off to now.
Each year he heads off to Spain, Portugal or the Canaries until easter.
"Your a long time dead, don't leave it all for the taxman", he says.
He plays cards and golf for money and he plays to win!
The Turner water colours go on display in the National art gallery in Merrion Sq. The light is at its lowest now and it is a condition of the person who gave them to the nation that they can only be seen in Jan. The taking of the Christ by Carravagio is also in the gallery as are paintings byRenoir other impressionist paintings.
Rock chic, a display of rock guitars is on in Collins barracks. Rory Gallagher,Jimi Hendrix and many other guys who gave their parents sleepless nights are featured.
There is ice scateing in the RDS and in Smithfield. A Russian girl told me "I fell on the ice and got a wet bottom" The thing is in Russia it is so cold that the ice would never melt.
We complain about the weather here but we don't ever get 20 below and winters with little or no daylight. Nor do we die of thirst or roast in the endless sun. The flies in the Carribean or Africa bite and suck your blood day and night.
The other day I picked up 3 people.. "Were going to Bray first then out to Skerries. Turn off that fucking music and keep your eye on the road." His phone rang then and his mates told me to go to the Confession box in Marlborough st..When he finished his call he started again
" You were listening to my call...I have a good mind to give you a good thump." When we arrived at the pub he thought one of the smokers outside was looking at him and hopped out to start on him. His mates paid up with a "Never mind him".
Its all very well but he is one very sick person and it's people like him who find themselve in a coma or worse still put others into coffins. He was one to watch out for next time. People on drugs can seem perfectly normal when they are standing on the roadside. They are so dangerous.
We really do need the London type cab where you can lock them in the back. We had them a few years ago but the roads are so bad here and with them being so heavy they shook themselves to pieces.
Here's wishing you all the very best for 2007. Have a prosperous, healthy, happy and safe one.
If you do die,
That you may be in heaven an hour before the devil knows your dead.
Friday, December 29, 2006
This is an old house in Chapelizod, will it be knocked down for progress?
Well it looks like its nearly time to ring out the old and ring in the new.
There was nearly scuffles as all the old Dubs headed home again after spending Christmas in the country hotels. They were not used to the idea of waiting outside in the cold. They could not see the logic of putting the rank outside when the could queue on the other side of the station in a well lit area which is under cover and dry. Well logic is a thing that CIE (rail co.) has not much of.
If I was in charge I would fine them 1,000 e for every 1/2 hour a train was late. Then the trains would run on time, or at least questions would be asked as to why a train can be 2 hours late.. One was late for more than 2 hours the other day.
The Sales are in full swing, too many shopping bags to get on the bus. So at least there will be work until next week. The aport is moving now that our contintental cousins are coming back from Europe. There was a good run there for the last few days.
I bought the new Dublin city map. Carefull the new one is 6th addition, 5 is still out in many places.It covers Bray, Leixlip, Maynooth and Newcastle. They could have expanded around Swords which has become another city, I looked up the new retail estate in Carrickmines, its not on it. But I think another map company is doing the towns around Dublin, hopefully it will be more up to speed..
I heard the large number of taxis in Dublin as being described "as like herds of wildebeast galloping over the plains of Africa. Endlessly moving down Georges st. into Dame St and on into O'Connell st as they move to the green pastures in Drumcondra and Stoneybatter."
It really is not a joke when the morning rush is over and you cannot get a place to pull onto a rank. I think its nearly time to take up the banjo and busk on Grafton st.
After Christmas the new inspectors will be hitting the road. It will be interesting to see how the big time scammers will survive. Turn on your dictafones lads, "He said I said".
We all know some of the scams that are going on, so lets see what happens to the crooks. I would love to see them run off the road. Many others I would like to see hosed down. Them and their cars.
Monday, December 25, 2006
D C Cabbie
10 Of the best beginning with P
1 Peace. I wish that you polaticans would shoot each other instead of killing kids(forgive spelling).
2 Passion, Remember you can't have it without Pain 1 0z pasion= 1 lb. pain.
3 Pretty girls, like Brazilians are the best looking people in the world (Ethopians too). Not that we can leave out the Poles,Latvians, Estonians. Lithuanians,Chechs,Slovaks and all the EU.
4 Porsche. Not that I would ever buy one, but they are super.
5 Photography I love to see photographs. The chance ones which made a fortune. I know a guy in Madrid who bought an appartment on 4 phopographs. The panoramic ones,like in National Geographric and the portraits which allmost expose the persons soul.
6 Pooch. My dog and personal trainer, who makes sure I take a walk every day rain or shine.
7 Please and thank you. It costs nothing and it shows people that you have been brought up properly.
8 Plants, (my wifes comment) Without them we could not eat or have air to breathe.
9 Passengers. who need taxis every day.
10 Pals, 2 legged and 4 legged male and female they are what makes the world go around
without frends what is there?.
Why limit it to 10
I also wish those of other faiths that the blessings of their gods may rain down upon them.
Laurie Walsh from Nanango Australia, a big HI.
We must meet again then you can show me how to throw that stick.!
If you want a good laugh go over to DC Cabbie and scroll down to Bombay taxi driver.
Wishing you all the very best for 2007.
Remember if its foggy and you have a UK connection, take the ferry and train. Better a little discomfort than your holidays at home.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Las Vegas Cabra
Just in case you thought it was only in the USA or Canada where the bright lights shone.
This is not Las Vagas but Cabra.. The neighbours used to be frends. Now they are arch enemies, each trying to outdo each other. The kids who used to play are forbidden to talk to each other all very sad really. Venture out around Tallagh. Fettercairn is fantastic for lights.
Traffic was mayhem in Dublin had 4 fares over e50. Makes up for the Greek lady yesterday who told me how cheap taxis were in Geeece..Well why did she travel?
They are also cheap in Uganda by the way and Vietnam.
I reckon the shopping rush will burn itself out by tomorrow.
Happy Christmas happy passingers. Prosperous 2007 in case we do not meet again
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Yesterday the port tunnel opened for business. Between 3.30 and 8.00 PM more than one thousand trucks had used it to access or leave the port.
Here's the photograph of before it opened. Lets hope for a bit if peace now all the trucks will be underground.
The tunnel cost a mere e750 million. I hope it works out, lets all hope it is a success.
Last night someone closed the barrier going into the tunnel. The harbourmaster, the operators or the truckers did not know what was going on. When the ships started unloading at 5 am. they drove to the entrance and waited. the tailback eventually went back so far that trucks could not drive off the ships. When the barrier was lifted the traffic lights gave the trucks 7 seconds on green every 57 seconds.
But by 8 o'clock they had got the hang of it.
A spokesman said "We told people that it would be closed when it opened".
Whatever that means!
Fog at Heathrow. Big trouble for holiday makers getting connecting flights.
Its worthwhile heading for the boat and train to London etc. better than missing you connecting flight to S.Africa or Australia.
Parties are in full swing and evryone is in good spirits.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Just thought I would share that with you.
The builders are easing off and many of the Polish workers are heading off home. The Brazilians ,Indians and Chinese will be staying here. The Chinese are very crafty they don't celebrate Christmas or new year like the rest of the world. New year comes in February when they celebrate all the money we spent the 2 months before..The Chinese also know that after a few pints you must take an antidote, which is only found in Chinese food. Fooling aside the accupuncturist is the only man for a bad back. "I fix you.You have blocked egenery channel. If you not better, come back I treat you again free."
Conventional doctors treat the pain not the cause.
Take it easy ,wrap up warm. This madness will pass.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The waiting game
Each day is different when you drive a taxi.
Yesterday and today were no exception.
I was ar the Aport and picked up a lady going into the south side of the city. When she got into the car she started the calls, ringing all her frends to say she was back etc. etc.
Then she said “Driver I would like you to take me to the hairdressers, wait for me then home to my appartment it will only take 40 minutes”
I said absolutely no way would I wait for 40 minutes for her or anyone else to get a hairdo, with people falling over themselves to get taxis. Anyhow I had a wife coming home from work and 3 kids all waiting to be fed. So we settled for Appartment then Dry cleaners ,hairdressers, then I could go home.
Arrived at the appartment, through the security gates into the basement car park. Out with the luggage, up to the appartment. “I will be down in a minute”, When I went back into the basement the door locked stopping me going back up again.
I waited locked in the car park.
45 minutes waiting.
I was almost boiling when she came down..Not a word about being sorry to have kept me waiting..When we arrived at the hairdressers there's e47 on the clock.
She gives me e50 in 2 seconds I have her change and recept in her hand, no tip.
She talkes on on the phone 5 mins..I turn off the engine 10 mins.. 20 mins . I turn round and roar “ WILL YOU ****OFF”
I have never come closer to killing anyone or having a stroke.
She must have been mad!
I know that I was as mad as hell.
But today first lift to Swords with an Indian guy. “I hope you can change e100”
Good chat on the way out then when we arrived I had to get out of the car to get the change. 22.214.171.124. I lifted the note off the drivers seat as I did so I rubbed the note to open it up, and Voila e200. There was one note wrapped around the other. I waved it at him.. loook He looked at the note twice but did not see what I was showing him, then I held up one note in each hand. He was really shocked E100 is a lot of money to loose, so be careful out there.
I won't go into the story of how all the IT jobs are going to India..Thats a tale for another day
All the pickpockets are very busy now.
The prisoners are out on Christmas leave as well so take care out there
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Photos OR text
Then there is 2 taxis given the same number. Did I say that all the taxis had to change their nimbers? Now taxis from outside the city are able to ply their trade as the uneque Dublin, Cork etc. numbering system is gone, replaced by a national system.
The strike hurt a lot of innocent people. I was on picket duty at Heuston station where I overherd one of my collegues tell the father of a sick boy. That theres a strike on and he should have thought of that before he came to Dublin.
The father had an appointment with a consultant in a hours time.
On that day I had no car,but I don't see the point of hurting your customers and creating bad feeling towords yourself.
Still I know there is a lot of bad feeling on both sides.
The last photo is of one of the portloos that the Dublin Airport Authority expect us to use.
Over one Thousand taxis pass through the Kesh. When there are delays nature calls and its not unusual to have urine and fecies overflowing out of them onto the tarmac.
You can see they are never cleaned down too well.
This is the kind of thing we should be striking about. I asked Mr.Tommy Gormans office about it, they told me that I should take it up with the DAA. Now the union did not get back on to me, so what do you think of our state of the art restroom.
Friday, December 08, 2006
The base of the statue has 4 angels. Very stern ones at that. If you are passing it take a look at the one on the right on the other side. She has a bullet hole in her left breast. She was shot in 1916 by the British (no Irishman would shoot an angel)
The other one is on the Glenageary Rd Upr.
Makes me think of Easter Island.
Yesterday I saw a taxi on a low loader, with a plastic sack stuck to the pillar at the side of the windscreen.
There was only one likely cause for this damage.
I am not saying it was the same car, but a taxi hit an air hostess as he headed into the Kesh (Holding area) There is a hole in the hedge and the staff run through it all the time. It is an accident waiting to happen.
There was a 3 car pile up at the entrance caused by the boy racers rushing to get in first.
Remember a simple error could cost a life not to mention what your insurance will go up by.
Got my meter sealed today..In Italy it costs one euro to have your meter checked over here it costs something like e70. Still it would be a long way to go just to save 69 euro.
Slow down and take care
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
What is this?
So this is the spire which sticks up 120 meters in the centre of Dublin city. I tell tourists that it was erected because the city fathers thought that something should be done when they found out that there was more than 6,000 heroin addicts in the city.
So they put up a big needle!
The fine building with the helping hand sculpture is the dept. of education.
More to follow soon
Photos at last
Monday, December 04, 2006
I was told that most people were sent home as there were no flights landing ergo no planes to fly out again. I did not spot that this would happen , but I did ok anyhow.
The dart was off, probably a tree down on the overhead lines.
So I worked the streets and later Heuston station where scores of extra people were turning up from Cork and Shannon where there flights had been diverted to.
When the work eased off I got out to streach my legs and I found a Prada purse with cash and credit cards. I rang a few of the card companies(some which never answered)and passed on my phone number, the owner rang me back. Today I returned the purse and got a thank you plus e20 for a Christmas drink!.
This has restored my faith in humanity.
But I will try to do the right thing even though there are so many selfish, ignorant people that you sometimes wonder if its worth being straight.
Still the storm has passed and all the weary travellers reached home today, but you had better book in at the airport in plenty of time for you flight, as there will be no spare capacity for the next three weeks.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Tips for getting home
Then why can't you get a taxi to come home?.
One thing reason is that everyone closes around the same time at night throwing heaps of steaming drunk people into the cold wet night. They are unhappy that the night is over and in no mood to wait around.
Joys in Baggott St(beside AIB) closes last 5 am. and taxis wait outside.
Its a fact that it took hundreds of buses and taxis over 4 hours to bring evreyone into town in the first place..Now the Dart and Luas are gone and only the odd night link bus.
Most people are happy to get in to your taxi,tell you where there going, and "thank God Mr.Taximan!". Others take it upon themselves fo fuck you in and out of hell. There is nothing much you can say about that, but I have often pulled up at a hostile rank and have the waiting punters at the rank pull them out so that they could get into the car instead.
If you are in a group say your goodbyes before the car pulls up. I will not wait longer than the second hug, goodbye! I will be gone to someone who wants to go straight away.
In the restaurant, book the taxi before you start the meal.
Leave town early
Go some place local to finish off the night.
Never wait at a rank.. drivers like to see that the people they are picking up are reasonably sober. At rhe rank you have to pick up the first homasidal maniac who is there.
Don't smoke, I am inclined to think if you are on your break you might need a bit more time and I don't want the car reeking of tobacco.
Walk out from town facing the incoming traffic. I have often seen people in Summerhill and Amiens st wave and curse the full taxis as they leave town. while the empty ones stream into town on the other side of the road..
A taxi bringing someone home to Rathfarnham or Stepaside will be out of the city centre for 1 1/2 hours! Thats for one trip. Take a nightlink for half your journey home then once your out of the masses you will meet empty cars heading home.
Celebrate Christmas and New Year in the first week in Feburary Just like the Chinese !
The restauraunt will be delighted to see you and let you sit for a few hours.
I know it is even stupid to suggest this but a pair of runners and a tracksuit in a bag out with you. This will mean that you can walk without freezing to death.
Sometime it gets a bit much to deal with/ If I work late it will be from the airport, though you can pick up plenty of headbangers there too.
I have had runners Ladies who have pissed on the seat Twice, girl sleepers are a perticular fear of mine, you must never shake them or touch them. Go straight to the nearest Garda station,
( Its worthwhile finding out where Garda stations are in advance)where a big burly garda will gladly slap them around or even as happned, twice take them in for bed and breakfast.
Two times I had a girl scream rape. The first one worker for RTE our national broadcaster. I brought her straight to the garda station where a bean garda ( luckely) interviewed her. She denied it all, then she slipped up saying "can't you take a joke"
The second time was very sinister and since that day I don't pick up girls on their own.
Harcourt St. Saturday night a girl waves me down going to Glassneven. She got in and fell asleep on the back seat,within 5 seconds.
At that time I had a Fiat Scudo wihch was adapted to take a wheelchair. So there is a big empty space in front of the bench seat. I had worked in the security business so as I could buy goods wholesale so I fitted an infra red camera connected to a 12volt time lapse recorder which was under the back seat. This was to cover my back and thank god I had it turned on.
Next thing I knew as I was turning into Dorset st. she jumps and starts screaming Help! Help!
I v'e been kidnapped! I held down the door lock and stopped the car falling from the moving taxi ,,relax whats wrong I asked
You got into the taxi in Harcourt st don't you remember ?
What happned next I know looking basck was well rehearsed.
She put her hand to her crotch and screamed I'm all wet, you bastard you are after rapeing me , You drugged and raped me when I was out! Ok Ok I said off to Whitehall garda station..They have fitted a gate to the side entrance so you can't drive into the yard like you used to. As we were going there she ranted and raved as how a pervert like me should be put in prison and never be let out again etc. As we got close to the station I was informed that if I gave her 200 pounds she would forget it.
No one would take my word against hers and I would loose my licence and never work again.. A few later minutes I was up on the grass outside the station. This is going to cost you a lot!..I blew the horn about 20times long blasts.
No one came out.
Then I let it slip that she had been on camera.
In that case you can bring me home she said.
This is the end of the line for you as I blew the horn again. Still no one came out and she said if I put a hand on her she would do me for assalt!
Pay the EFFIN fair and F*** off. As soon as she jumped out I locked up and ran in to speak to the guardian of the peace.. Come out quick to arrest the girl on the road.
To cut a long story short he was too busy, he was on his own and he did not care because no crime had been comitted ! Fucking hell I shouted if it was her who ran in here shouting rape you would be down on me like a ton of s***
Behave yourself or I will have you locked up, thats the biggest reaction I got from the Garda.
I am sure she has done this to many other drivers..
If you don't have the cash to have a camera installed buy a dictafone.. they can be as small as a small cigarette pack..Then when it comes to he said he said, you can recall and replay.
Be good out there boys and girls and take care. Hair spray is an excellent thing to carry in case of attack..or Impulse.
But then men can't help acting on it.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wet night tonight
Cops at every intersection for rush hour. I must say having the box junctions open is a big help.
For the last 3 weeks or so the Garda have been stopping cars at random at the weekend. When you stop they ask you a few questions, while sniffing your breath for drink.
They caught on average 450 per weekend. Thats a lot of assholes..who will need to rely totally on taxis to bring them home for the next while. That is if they have still got their jobs to pay the taxi fair.
Just thought I would stick this in here, rather than write it up in a new heading. A frend of mine died a few weeks ago and I just herd that his sister in law got very drunk after the funeral and fought off her frends who were going to stop her driving.....She crashed..rear ending one car which hit a second car. What can be done with theese eejets.
A local man was out cutting his grass a few weeks ago and I noticed that his car tax expired last May. So I asked him if it his car. His verbal attack on me was such that it reinforced in my mind that Joe public think that all taxi drivers are scum. I didn't even get a chance to tell him about the tax disc.
I was talking to a Garda who was off duty and she told me that after 2 months they Must impound the vehicle. No Ifs Ands And Buts. The closer it comes to holiday period he will the risk of loosing it until the new year, think of the cost then. She wanted the reg there and then!
Last wed a water pipe burst and the County council closed a busy road...Thats right no detours no traffic managment whatsoever. The radio had no information, garda did nothing.
The resulting chaos left people stranded in traffic for up up 7 HOURS. People had to go pee pee on the side of the road.Cars abandoned, cars out of fuel. One passinger was diabetic and had to beg for food. Babies were passed to fretfull spouses who had to come down the opposite side of the road. There seems to be no one in charge, leastways no one will get the sack.
Nothing unusial to report today except an oil spill which has closed off a large section in Ballsbridge. but traffic volumes are way up.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Then the phone rang
The drunks who give out yards,the runners and the pukers not to mention the ones who pee on the seat.
I really did not have a lot of sympathy for the punter trying to get home.
Then the phone rang .
"Bad news Brendas husband was knocked down and killed as he was walking home from the pub. He had been out socialising and unable to get a taxi he set off on foot. The road narrowed at the point where he was hit. There was no footpath."
He leaves 5 children and on Christmas day he will be dead a month.
It was a taxi that killed him.
Since then 4 more pedestrians have been killed.
So you see this year I will be more tolerant , also I won't be in such a rush.
In case I forget to say it. Have a safe Christmas.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The charge was e25.20 and he gave me e25.
"Thank you you have been very helpful"
It really throws me when this happens.
The young student gave me a e5. tip. She had no bags to carry and did most of the talking.
I would not be so foolish as to go to Boston NY or London and behave like that! If I could rewind the clock I would send them to all the hellholes and fleapits in this town, have a nice day and happy thanksgiving !
Well we live and learn and if it changes my way of thinking then the bad guy wins.
Why this negativity should surface now I don't know. A few years ago a famly got into the car. Father mother 2 small kids. The father was near to death,you could see the veins through his skin, his hair was all gone from the radiation treatment, it looked like cancer he was all yellow and weighed only a few stone. I had to lift him into the taxi. They had collected him from hospital but he had insisted that the children be brought to see the shops. Now they were late for the train home. Other people had tried to push in front of them but I saw the plight in the mothers eyes.
We had gone a few hundred yards when the little girl found a wallet stuffed down the side of the seat. It had 500 Irish and 600 English in it.
I made 2 mistakes that day. I should have taken out 50 and given it to the little girl.
I took the wallet home and found the owners telephone number in the UK. I rang and asked to speak to MR X No one by that name here, Oh I am ringing from Dublin..You've found my wallet.
But I said you told me that no one by that name lived there.
To cut a long story short I sent the wallet back regestred post, less the cost of postage. I put my phone number and my address into the package..And the dirty fecker never even phoned to say thanks.
If Ihad handed it into the carriage office without the driving licence he would not probably have been able to retreve it.. then, finders keepers. Thats provided no one there took it home.
What would you do?
Treat evryone badly?. Rob blindly!. Every man for himself !
So that day the stupid people won...But tomorrow they will still be stupid, but I will be wiser.
Jacob,a poor man found a purse with many sheckles in it..So he brought it to the rabbi..
The rabbi put out the word about the mans honesty and soon a merchant came allong to claim the money..The merchant thanked the rabbi and started to count the money. After a while the smile faded from the merchants face..There's 200 sheckes short in my purse I had 2000 there is only 1800 there now.
Give me the purse said the rabbi. He put the purse with the money into the safe. I have known Jacob all my life he is poor but he is one of the most honest people I know.
Therefore I must conclude that your purse which Jacob found is similar to this purse you thought was yours. Your purse therefore must still be still lost.
If only life were that simple..Theres never a good cleric around when you want one.
Friday, November 17, 2006
From Sutton to Rathfarnham
Then I head out in a positive frame of mind.
As you go through your day the selection of people you meet differs so much that sometimes you wonder if they are living on the same planet as the person who was last in the taxi.
I try to hold that posative vibe all day but there are some people who seem to be standing under a raincloud all the time. I know I rattle on about the diversity of the new people who are coming here. My second fare was two youung guys going to The Instatute of Education in Leeson St. they were from Quait doing their secondary lavel studies then hopeully off to to study medicene in the college of surgeons. All very expensive so I wished them well.
Next for shaving ! A Sth African diplomat who was heading over to the AIB bank centre in Ballsbridge.."Man Things in S.Africa are so bad for the black people no money,no jobs. Crime is so bad."..It was just like you had burst a dam and all this negativity came pouring out.
Still I know that evry year a group of Irish people go to S.Africa in the summer and build good houses for the poor people in Capetowns shanty town. It was started off by a guy His second name is Mellon (can't remember his first name)from Dublin who was so shocked when he saw the poverty in Cape town that he organises the building of homes with volinteers and donations, he is a real hero over there. He has built hundreds of houses. To the indaviuals he has brought such hope, perhaps these hopes will build a better tomorrow. That south African guy should take his happy pills tomorrow and start looking at the world from a different side.
Next punter in remarked that the lotto tonight will be e180 million,"what a millstone around you neck that would be". He said that he had clients with 50 or 60 million euro to their name , but they never flash the cash and they are so happy that no one knows. He told me of a client he had who was worth over 20million pounds(old money) who could not bring himself to spend money, so for lunch he would send his assistant to the shop for a tub of cottage cheese and a packet of digestive biscuits. The cheese and biscuits would then be divided between them.
So if I win I the Lotto I will still drive my taxi. But I didn't.
I met the legend who is Chuck Feeney once, he was so positive, " You have the best job in the world, you don't have to put with people you don't like, take a break when its fine. If you keep your wants within your means and as long as you have good health and you're happy with your famly..Things don't get better than that, too much money or not enough money each bring their own set of problems" He thanked me for bringing him to his hotel shook my hand and off he went into the Berkley Court hotel. I thought it was a pleasure meeting him
The next day when I opend the paper there he was...
He has a charaty called Atlantic Philanthropies through which he has given away more than$8 Billion US dollars! Loves educational projects and has educated thousands of kids in US.
He believes that having to do military service to get an education is a flawed plan, so he has paid to have thousands of kids put through high school. He put himself through school by baking apple pies.
Then he had an idea.
"Duty Free"was invented.The rest is history. He lived as a recluse for years.
Through he travels economy though he could own his own jet. He wears a $15 watch which has a 2 year battery guarantee. The price of a Rolex in his mind could be put to better use.
But as you can see he is not mean..So I sent him a copy of Acres of Diamonds.Which can be found on the net here. He wrote back to thank me. I think of him and others like him who help me to set my sights on the stars.
My final lift of the day brought me from Sutton to Templeogue e33 then out past Rathfarnham to Stocking lane, high in the Dublin mountains, the view of the city below is fantastic, so I put on my jacket to take in the view. The nursing home there is run by the Quakers, but it is not built in a manner that would benefit the inmates. A good view wakens up the soul. As I was leaving I was stopped by a group of nurses who were gathered around their stranded car.
Their car had a flat battery because they had left the lights on the night before. Ever the gent I gave them a jump start. But only after I found out where they all from. 1 Philipenes 2 Nigeria
It was like being at a meeting of the UN.
When the car started up I said that they had to pay!!
They looked concerned as they were short of money. Then I said. Hugs from evryone!
Great to hear people laughing!
I must get out more.
My smile lasted for an hour.
Friday, November 10, 2006
All quiet on the western front
Things moved along nicely and the weather was fine. I got a fare way out to City West in the morning rush hour traffic. Though the heavy traffic was coming into town I knew that when my fare got out I would have to join the queue back into town..I stopped off at Liffey Valley shopping centre. Where I noticed 2 things that bug me. 1 Why do all shopping centres look the same. 2 Why the hell won't McDonalds give you a burger in the morning, breakfast only.
Then I headed off into town through Ballyfermott where I picked up this guy going to Rathmines, then as we got closer he said go to Ranelagh. As we got over that way he changed his mind again and asked to go into town. I did say that if he was going to work that he might get into trouble as he stank of booze..He said that he had been drinking till 4 am. He was a theatre director. Its all part of the picture, all the luvvies in the backstage bar.
Still I hate it when people start changing destinations,you think you are being set up for a mugging,I was glad to see the back of him.
Bad news when I got back home .A frend from up the road died last night. From New Zeland, he lived for rugby and we would often walk my dog together before he got ill.. The doctors kept telling him he was fine though he himself felt that there was some more cancer there..Well last night he proved them wrong..It will be very tough on his folks back in NZ as they did not know he was so close to death. He died with a smile on his face. His wife had to scream at the doctors to MAKE them give him pain killers..
As a Polish girl told me
" Many things are fine here, but your health service is really third world"
She had been very ill been to the doctor, hospital 3 times, they all could find nothing wrong. Her father booked an airline ticket back to Warsaw..The hospital saw her at noon, she was admited that day and operated on the next morning..Something to do with the gall bladder. Now two weeks later she is back at her work.
So it seems that Poland is the place to be sick in..
You can see the tourist brochures..visit Gadansk the Appendix capital of Europe.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I was out and there was no notice about it on the radio. My last car radio came from a top of the range BMW. It had a button "TA" which would inerrupt your tape or radio programme with urgent traffic alerts.
Sarurday saw me at the car auctions where I bought a cheap car to keep my wife going until I fix her car. Her Car has been like driving a sauna around, as it fills up with steam when it warms up.The problem is that the small radiator for the hearer has a leak.Repair quote? e700
" Cos the whole dashboard has to come out" I bet I will have it out in 2 hours tops.
Auction rooms are dodgey places there was a X type Jag03 reg with 51,000 miles on the clock.
The interior was very rough,drivers seat worn to the point where the seat was coming through the leather. The owners manual was in the glove compartmert with the service manuel ....60,000 miles when it was 2 years old ! Still some people could not see that the car had been clocked and the bidding went to e16,200 but she was not sold at that price.
I will see how I go with my treasure. 00 Megane Coupe e3000
This weekend should see the airport busy with all the builders and teachers who have had a week off workcoming back from their autmn break.
The traffic on Monday morning will be mental.
Next week I should be back to normal work.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
My wife has been ill so I have been coming home early, doing the shopping cooking etc.
Then my son went a bit mental !.
At fourteen, love causes big problems. He was travelling all over the city,to Cabra , into the Central Bank, off to Ashington on the Navan road. He often won't tell you where he is or then he won't awnser his mobile. Parents try to help guide kids, but they will not take strict disipline like when we were kids. ( Funny when you start to say things your parents said) Its an uphill battle keeping the lines of communication open. If it works out I am going to take all 3 sons clay pidgeon shooting on Tues in an effort to do some team building.
Got my insurance quote the other day e1800 from AXA insurance, So I got a quote from Quinn direct e900 and that new quote also gives me no claims bonus protection. Happy days.
With the money saved I filled in the application for the airport pass! Never say never.
Yesterday there was a bomb scare on an airport bus right in the middle of O'Connell St.
Traffic blocked off, then total chaos as a lot of bus routes go through that street.
I approached a group who were waiting at a aircoach stop on Leeson St. to tell them to stop a cab and ask the driver to head down Pearse St to avoid the mess. One guy gave me a look which said "connman". One of the other guys at the stop asked me if I would bring them. I said sorry as I had an appointment around the corner..You should have seen the smug look drop off the guys face who thought I was conning him.
When I came around again later there was only 2 Italian ladies there so again I told them the story, so as they were getting into the taxi the Aircoach come along! A highly animated conversation followed..They were very late so they went by taxi.
All the way out through the bank holiday traffic "Why is the traffic so bad? In Milano the traffic is never like this". Then we hit the bus lanes and made up a bit of time..
I don't understand what all the panic is about. If the roads had remained blocked they definitely would have missed the flight, If they had gone on the aircoach which would have made 15 stops to pick up other people..Then they would have still missed their flight,Though I think they might just have made it. Thanks so much, if I had been helped allong like that I suppose I wouldn't give a tip to the driver either!.
Sometimes you just have to wonder at some people.
Another guy said he needed change. Pocketed the e2 his girlfrend had given as a tip, paid with a larger note saying he needed the small change. In many instances other drivers would not have called him back to retreve his lost phone from the back seat. They would say "No tip! no phone. Its a lesson in manners"
Still you can't let the bad people win.
In the morning I had a fare down Baggott St. A middle aged lady going for a job interview..She had taken time off work to look after her mum who now had passed away. So now she was starting back to work. I wish her well, employers today often only want young people that they can pay very little money to, or foreign labour who know nothing about trade unions or holiday pay etc.
I hope her mum made a good will before she died, sometimes batty old people leave the famly home to be devided among the kids and forget that a daughter or son has not married and has taken care of them for years, while the others have fled the coop and never took over their care for a even a weekend . I know of 2 cases in less than 500 yards of my own house where it has happned. Make a will, thats the tip for today.
Looks like I am going to miss another days work as his lordship is awake now and wants to head off into town on his own, not if I can stop him.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Where are you going ?
Getting my teenage son out of bed and off to school, its a bit cheeky using the bus lanes.
Then back off to the Clontarf seafront and into town..I saw a few punters who looked like they were ready to hail a taxi, but did not move. There was very good looking girl stopped the car behind me.Something is wrong.
Aftershave? Deoderant? Not that...
Then a "Jockey"(motorcycle cop) pulls me over.."where do you think your going in the bus lane? "I'm working" Where is your taxi sign? says he ...
It was in the boot. I had taken it off the night before and had forgotten all about it...
He was very good no ticket or anything.He could see with the stickers and meter that it was a taxi.
Some days you would wish you had a second braincell.
Things clicked for me after that.
Today I paid my income tax. "glad to contribute"
Hope they send me my tax cleareance cert, last year I was off work for three months waiting for the tax cleareance cret even though my taxes were fully paid up months before.
You cannot renew your PSV licence without it.
The airport pass has been settled it will cost us e400 to pick up passengers at the port. A slight reduction. This is a charge which we cannot reclaim, but Christmas and summer nights can be good at the airport. So I have a week or so to think about it.
You often meet gas people at the port!!!!
One clever guy jumped into the car at arrivals and said..To the port as quick as you can. As we headed off he phoned his wife and asked her to post his passport to an address in England.
They wouldn't let me on the plane I hadn't got ID, so I will take the high speed ferry and train and I bet I will be in Manchester first. I will fly home again if the passport arrives in time.
Its great to meet people who can think on their feet.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A Japanese business man had boooked 2 limos to take his party into town and while he was in the toilet they arrived and had driven away without him.
He was nice enough about it and as we eased our way on to the slip road on to the Malahide Rd his phone rang. It was the driver from the missing limo and he wanted to speak to me. He was looking for directions to the hotel. "Where are you now ?" "I don't know " says he..I just wanted to reunite him with his customer, but he couldn't even tell me where he was. So I forged on gallantly into town.
They had been staying at a hotel at St.Andrews, playing golf when all the politicians from Ireland England and N.Ireland landed in on top of them. With all the security the golf and business had come to a halt. Tomorrow they are off to the K club(where the Ryder cup was) for more business and golf.. Hope they have a better driver to take them on the trip to the K club.
I met a guy from Niagra Falls who is getting married today to a Polish girl..This will mean that he can work here legally, It is hard for Americans and non europeans to get work permits even though they have Irish parents etc.. His bride was in hospital and he was doubtfull whether it would be going ahead at all. After all to think of getting married on Friday 13th
He wanted to tip me but I said "Keep it for luck" He shook my hand and I could see they are all having a tough time of it. Getting married in a foreign land away from frends and family.
I hope it works out for them, at least the day is fine for it.
The Polish girls are all very good looking.
A girl yesterday caught my eye, when she spoke she had a London accent. I said I thought she was Turkish and was suprised with her acccent, but she told me her father was from Armenia which explained her exotic looks, we were both suprised at how accurate my guess was.
We are lucky now with all this new blood coming into Ireland, we will have great looking grandchildren, hopefully they will be able to play football and run races, roll on the olympics,(we should be ready for Beijing).
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Not the bunny!
So I waited and got a fare to Swords which is a e10 fare. This is not good but I never complain, its not the punters fault he has a short trip . Some airports like Heathrow have a minimum fare wuich is bad for the punter but good for the taxi driver.
My fare worked in insurance so there was not much to say.
I had dropped him off when I noticed the back door had not been closed properly. As I walked around to close it I saw him..A little bunny, sitting behind the car. I watched him for a few seconds then I noticed the swollen eyes and the lack of cordination, this bunny has myxomatosis and is suffering an awful death.
He was blind and the sores are starting to appear on his body.He is carrying the disease in fleas which were in his fur and if he gets back to the burrow he will infect all the others in the warren. If you were a farmer you would gas the bunnys or bring an infected one like this one to your area to kill the rabbits which are on your farm.
I opened the boot and took the extension from my socket wrench ,turning around slowly I raised the bar above my head,ready to strike. when I heard the scream from the canteen of the office behind me."Look! Than man is killing the little bunny"
OK so the bunny gets a repreve and he and all his mates die. I would have explained to the groundsman who was there what was going on. but he had no english. Such is life.
One day at the airport I picked up well dressed guy who said"Don't be cross with me I have had a really bad day and I am not going yery far" So off we went to Omega air express, Just outside the perimiter fence of the airport. He told me he missed his flight and had to charter a plane. When we arrived I looked at his big black BMW and I saw a wide brimmed hat on the back seat. "Well did the horse win after all the effort?" Yes he did and it really was a great day. Here is 20 pounds. So we both drove away happy. If I had been cross and said something like why dond't you walk over? I would not have been tipped and he would sitll been pissed off, in spite of winning his race in England.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Stop me if I'm wrong
My frend John rang me the other day "How are you doing?" "I have been working on the new fares tonight and when I finish my next job I will have earned e600" John I said"how long have worked to have made so much money?"
It worked out that he had been driving 36 hours non stop! Not for coffee, or a meal. "If I stop working or break my rythem then I would have to stop altogether."
I just told him, if you crash you would only have yourself to blame, If you kill someone its a lot to have on your mind. "her's someone now" Then he hung up. He is ok at present but he is sailing very close to the wind. Bring in techographs! This may explain why I had 2 near oneslast week.
In Italy for example you would be put in prison for doing that and Italy is a country where laws can be curved if not bent (slightly).In Italy it costs e1 to have your meter sealed in Dublin its around e90
Then there was the joke.
Did you ever fall asleep driving the taxi?
No, but Jesus I woke up once or twice driving it.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Stickers for everyone
One for each back window. one for the back of the sun visor and another telling the passinger that the information will be found on the back. Yes the new taxi fares have kicked in and with the three levels of fares..which also applies to time it is better. www.taxiregulator.ie for more.
My second lift on Monday was out to Tallagh from the centre ,wait for 1/2 hour and back to Caple St., e65. I know that on the old system you would have been lucky to get e50.
I will keep my head down and see how it goes..In Paris they have a similar system but the airport pickup charge and luggage charges still apply.
As for the airport..www.daa.ie. The DAA will be charging taxis e500 per year to pick up at the airport,,as I will be losing the e1.50 pick up charge and the baggage charge any time I pick up there.(remember airlines charge customers for baggage) I will not be going out any more. The DAA should realise that they need us and they need us more than we need them.
Teenagers, my work has been suffering because of my youngest. He plays the drums and needs to be collected from here and brought there, then back home again. It is eating into my working time, still if he makes the big time he says he will buy me a farrari taxi !
Still if I drive carefully I will pick up the lost hours another day.I had 2 near misses with a bus and later a car going through red lights.. UnmarkedCop cars, Turn on your lights especially if you dont have a blue flasher. They come from nowhere and the new sirens seem to come from every direction.It is a bad design fault.
Two cyclists were killed here in the city last week. Now I am not saying that any party was at fault,or am I saying that all cyclists break the lights, weave through traffic. Worst of all is coming allongside artic trucks then positioning themselves right at their front bumper.
There is a huge blind spot directly in front of a big truck(as long as 12 ft).
If the cyclist misses the lights by one secone 200 horse power and fifty tons of weight will not be stopped by the cycle.
I would like to see two Garda put on duty at traffic lights for six months. Everyone who breaks the lights should be fined e30 on the spot,if they dont have the cash then the bikes will be confiscated until they do pay. The brakes shoukd also be checked.You would not go through a red(Traffic) light in Amsterdam.The other red light should not stop for.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Through A Windshield, Darkly: They're back!!
If you really want to see drunken head cases come to Dublin.
Absalutely totally wrecked on drink...I asked another driver one day.How can they do this night after night? His answer was...John its not the same people.. its just when they are drunk they seem like the same person.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I couldn't understand why with the new fares increase I have been earning the same money.Now I know, my meter has not changed over ! It was supposed to change on the day of the new fare change, it was callibrated 2 months ago all set to go.
So much for technology.
Now I will have to join a queue of all the other taxis to have it corrected.
Saw the two scariest movies ever. Hostel ..murder and horror..And Wall Mart..The high cost of selling cheap. I thought I had problems!!. Not any more.
So tomorrow it's brakes, oil and meter.No work. Such a wonderfull life.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I picked up a lady going out to Sandymount and on the way there she told me that years ago she used to work at Windmill lane studios .
One day a long time later she was queing for a taxi when two guys tried to jump the queue. A guy behind her shouted "hey this lady is first" and proceded to hold the door and help her into the cab.."where are you going?" he asked "Sandymount" she replied." Look I am going to Ringsend, can we share the cab?" So they shared the cab and Bono says " I know you ,you used to work in Windmill lane,do you not remember me Im Bono."
It was quite funny really ,her not recognising him while he remembered her after all those years.
You know when someone famous gets in you often don"t recognise them, you think did that fella used to be a waiter in thr Trocadero? It only comes back days later..So thats who Barry Manalo looks like. (not that we have ever met)
At present here in Dublin its raining and the Ryder cup is on. Its quite a circus for traffic.
Taxis have been on one day strike for a couple of months now,so here is a brief overview of what its all about.
Around 5 years ago the number of taxis in the city was limited to 3030 or thereabouts.If you wanted to become a driver you had 4 choices.
1 You bought an existing taxi for 80,000 pounds the price of a house at the time.
2 You rented a taxi for 300 pounds per week plus insurance and petrol,day shift or nights.
3You hoped to be luckey when the draw would be held for new licences would be held.
4 You could also buy a hackney plate and work through a radio company.With a hack plate you could not work from a rank or pick up on the street. This did not stop many of the drivers doing it all the time.
One guy brought a case to the government saying that the corperation could not have a manopoly for the taxi licences, he took the case to Europe and won. The Gov. were told that they could not limit the numbers as thay had been doing.
Now if there had been discusssion among the people involved, then perhaps future entrants to the business would have had to pay a bond to be invested on their behalf or something like that. But with the collapse of taxi licence prices many drivers many drivers pensions dissappeared overnight.
Remember taxi plates were costing 80,000 pounds.
The Gov set the price of new licences at 7,000Pounds.
The number of taxis in Dublin had risen to allmost 13,000 Thats more than New York.
Everyone who had a spare day or two in the week bought a taxi, retired, redundant..Even Solisators bought taxi plates so that they could sail into work using the bus lanes..Michael OLeary head of Ryanair is a classic example. Yes he owns his own taxi.
So it was getting hard and then allong the taxi regulator who will rule the industry with regulation..www.taxiregulator.ie
Many changes have come but the hardest one is the abolition of pickup and luggage charges at the airport. The present status is that we pay70c to enter the holding area, when we are called up we redeem the waiting time and the airport charge by charging e1.50.
The airport authorithy are now going to abolish the entry charge in place of a once off e500 while the regulator is abolishing the luggage and pick up charges.
He has introduced other things, good and bad but none of these changes which he introduced can be appealed, he is a bit of a loose cannon, lets hope he shoots himself soon.
Now I have bored you all to death I will wish you goodnight.