Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bomb scare

Just been doing the routine things for the past few weeks.
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 ?

Today started off like any other day .
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

Hurry plss

I went to the airport and when I was called up by a man with a pen in his hand and no luggage approached me. This is not usually a good sign. But it turned out ok. "Go to the VIP area"he said and on the way over he told me the story.
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!

The other day I had a fare close to the airport,at present it is free to enter the holding area .
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

In Dublin we for the most part own our own taxis. We can work hours that suit ourselves. Unlike New York whre your shift is Days or Nights. Cars working 24/7. Which is one way of doing the business.
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

This week most taxi drivers got a big white registered letter. There was 4 stickers inside.
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. 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 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.