Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wet night tonight

Christmas is really here. Operation freeflow is in full swing
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

On many of the blogs I have read including my own we give out about the little things in life.
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 .
My cousin.
"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

Happy thanksgiving!

Today started off well enough, a few short hops then a lift out to the airport, a young girl studying here going to collect her brother from the US, she just could not believe ho we did not even register that Thanksgiving was just a few days away. I went over to the waiting area and the queue moved qickly then back to town, 2 suits going into town, full of the joys of life and it being afer 11 am we flew in. So I went back again where I waited and waited. Loads of taxi drivers were queueing up for the new airport passes. The queue for the permits was slow and their cars were blocking up the system,we couldn't jump over or get around their cars so we were all hyped up when pick up time came around. I picked up a middle aged couple from Boston, first time to Ireland, grandfather from the old sod, Told them about where to go, pointed out things of interest on the way in .Where to go to buy magazenes relating to tracing your famly roots. All the usual things that it is only right and proper to do.
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

When I turn my mobile phone the greeting is "every day in all ways its getting better".
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
2 Mauritius.
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

Today there were no road closures.
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

Not Again

Last Friday ,another bomb scare on Dorset St. at around 3.30.
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.