Surviving Dublin a city with more taxis than New York. Dublin is a passengers paradise and a taxi drivers hell
Monday, May 28, 2007
Same old faces.
Well there you are Bertie Ahern back for another 4 years.
Here is a photo of his Palace is the office of the taoiseach (primeminister) It looks just like the headquarters of a Junta in South America.
Now I know how the people of America felt when Bush romped home the last time.
The other photo is a rack of taxi roof signs awaiting their new owners.
I cannot believe the number of taxis there are in this town. This is the most taxis per head of population in the world, the new boys keep coming out.We now have taxis well in excess of New York, we must now have at least 2,000 more taxis than NY. The population of Dublin is only 2 million.
Somethings gotta give!
There will have to be a bit of a cull soon to lessen the numbers.
The way they race back into town on a Friday & Saturday nights would put the Monaco Grand prix to shame.Cutting across lanes etc.
A traffic control cop with a speed gun in Fairview would make a fortune for the exchequer.
I change links at the side of the blog from time to time. Sometimes people give up, sometimes they are just resting. I almost cut out the link to DC cabbie a while back, well now he is back in good style again.
The real interest is to hop through the links, some great stuff to be found there.
The New York hack Malissa has been writing a book for the last 6 or 7 months.
We had a taxi driver here in Dublin who wrote a book a few years back.
Tales in a Rearview Mirror Donal Ruane. It sold well and is still in print, he has written 2 more books now, so I would say he is not driving any more..
A new link today is to "blank top dispatcher", she tells tales which might explain how frustrating it is to deal with the public, she does it so well.
Well If you had been in my cab in the last few days you would have noticed a funny smell.
Not my fault I swear. I had had the seats steam cleaned ate floor vacumed all for nothing.
I had the seats shampooed and still could not trace the source until I was looking for something in the boot and found it.
A plastic bag of dog poo.
Part of you civic duty is to clean up after your dog. Helps if you can remember to bin it though.
Sorry bout that, not my fault.
At least I can drive with the windows closed now.
A few years ago an old lady who lived down the road would bring her dog into my front garden to do his business. The boys were small then and they would get covered in dog shit when they were playing.
I caught her one day and I picked it up in a bag and ran after her.
"If I ever find dog poo in my garden again I will rub it on your front door".
I was known as "The angry man" from then on.
One mans anger is often not even a concern of the person who caused the uproar.
I brought my own dog to the vet as she was not herself, he examined her and then said I will check for diabetes and Bingo.She is now on insulin and I will have to work longer hours to pay the medical bills. I suppose we will get the summer out of her and then she will be put down before she suffers too much. Strange thing is that she is galloping around the garden full of the joys of spring as I write.
One other thing which caused consternation at the airport last week.
A white 7 seater taxi with tinted windows pulled up to pick up a passenger,the man got in and jumped out again and got into the car behind.
The car in front is first car said the driver.
I am not going in that car she has a baby in a baby seat. No way said the driver who opened the back door only to confirm what his passenger had seen.
Ten drivers saw it.
As I say things are getting mad around here.
2 nights ago load of cars without airport passes decended on the Airport to take away passengers who arrived in on a late flight.
Now loads of questions need to be addressed. Why were they allowed in? Who called them up to the airport?
Will this be the new rule? every man for himself
So it will be coming to a head when the summer holidays come around.
Will there be a free for all or a boycott at the airport.
A plane after takeoff.
The poilot gives his talk and then (Thinking the intercom is off) says. "Now all I need is a cup of coffee and a blow job".
The stewardess rushes forward to tell the captain of his error, when she is stopped by a little old lady near the front of the plane. "Take your time honey, he needs to finish his coffee first"
Posted by John at 11:02 AM 2 comments:
Friday, May 18, 2007
OK back back STOP
Woa your back far enough.
A plane turns around at the back of the airport.
Well the elections will be over tomorrow.
Then all the poles will be naked with all the posters gone.
All the children will be happy, the hospitals will be clean and plague free.
And there will be comely maidens dancing at the crossroads.
Well that is the theory.
But in fact things will go from bad to worse whoever gets in.
Then they will head off for summer recess.
Took a taxi home last night, one of the new Irish.
No yellow stickers on the windscreen, ID flat on the dash.
No idea where the ares where I lived was never mind the street.
Then when I got out he took out a map to find his way back into the city center.
Funny how these people can come here and be driving taxis when it is impossible for the Garda to have done any background check on them.
Met a guy who had his foot amputated, he had failed the PSV test and him a Dub.
Took him 3 years waiting to be given a chance to sit the test.
Then the driver last night dosen't know where Raheny is.
Something is badly wrong.
Nice enough guy with a complicated life which I won't go into here.
Hope he gets sorted before long.
I can remember being between jobs myself,time drags by and a feeling of being rejected sets in as time passes.I wish him well when he re sits the test
I thought if you came from a hot country there would be no problem going back there for a holiday.
Well not so. I met a guy from Pakistan who had to give up his holiday and come back to Ireland because the heat (45/c) was too much.
His body lost essential salts.
Also the food no longer agreed with his stomach.
So he was back in Ireland.
We had a good talk about the farce which is the department if immigration, the red tape that keeps people waiting all day,Queues start to form at 5am. Then when you get your passport stamped you have to pay e200.
Its not like we don't need these doctors, engineers, hotel managers or shop assistants. There has to be a more humane way of dealing with them.
The money that they have to spend on the visa would feed their families for a few weeks back home not to mention the day wasted coming up to Dublin and standing in line for a day.
It makes me angry when I see the ads for racial equality and civil servants treating the immigrants like dirt.
Australia needed nurses. Philippino nurses were offered 3 year working visas. Working visas for their spouses.Subsadised accomidation, free education and health care.
They were good nurses too.
But they do not come here so much now.
Now the nurses coming here are from India."God its so cold here"
Things are changing here not always for the better,the attitude of people in shops have become strange. Let me give you an example.
I was getting a new pair of glasses so I went to the same optician that my wife uses.
He did the eye test, "Now I will need a deposit" All I had was e20. "I hardly think 20 is enough" So this guy who knows where I live forces me back to the house for my credit card.
"Take the full amount" I said I said when I came back, "After all if you disappear I can claim a refund from the credit card company"
The seriousness of my comment was lost on him,he was giving me no respect as a person or as a customer.
Simple fact I have 3 sons all have had new glasses in the last 2 years,all from Spec Savers. I won't be going back either.
A bit like the guy who rings the dealership.
"Could I speak to someone in sales please?"
They are all busy could I get someone to call you back?
Sure My number is *****
2 days later he gets a call back.
Its OK, I put in my order for the 10 trucks I needed yesterday.
Posted by John at 4:32 PM 2 comments:
Well my photos if anything are varied. First is a photo of Patrick Kavanagh writer and poet His novel Tarry Flynn is well known.http://www.tcd.ie/English/patrickkavanagh/life.html
Lines Written on a Seat
on the Grand Canal, Dublin
'Erected to the memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'
O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer.
Brother Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges -
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb - just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.
The other photo is of an Irish travelers grave in Kells Co.Meath. In life they were modest but in death they seem to elevate themselves like Kings. If you click on the photop and blow it up you can see his image which is etched inside the marble(or granate) insert.It really is a work of art.
Some things that happen in one place reflect how things happen in another place.
I was listening to Seascapes today when a fisherman from Dingle Co.Kerry was being interviewed about changes in the industry. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/seascapes/
He had just returned from Spain where he had delivered his trawler to its new owners.
The new Spanish owners can come into Irish waters and catch fish that under EU rules he could not land. The quota system as it is at present often had him sailing when it was unsafe to do so and last year we had tragic losses off the coast of Wexford, one trawler which sank was not allowed to seek refuge in a port which it was close to because of EU rules. I believe the bodies have still not been brought home.
Tonight it is very stormy cyclonic gusting gales, a sure change in the weather pattern. I hope the fleet is safe in port.
You know when you think of your job and its problems,banking, insurance, teaching or taxi driving..Things are much worse for so many people.
So when you grab your keys tonight and head out think of the people living in Zimbabwe a country facing total meltdown a government at war with its people.
White farmers driven from their land, the farms then return to scrub.
Once the bread basket of Africa now facing famine itself.
Well Rule Britana. They don't give a s**t
Well all of Africa is in decline,the whole place is really sinking into the abyss.
Count your blessings.
There was a really interesting segment on the Marrion Finucane show last Saturday which told of how the immigrants who come here are treated by the officials at the department of immigration when they come to renew their visas.
You know if this was happening to the Irish abroad there would be all out war.
Shame on you all who work there.
YOU DO NOT DO THIS IN THE NAME OF ANYTHING THAT IS JUST OR RIGHT.
OFFICIALDOM GONE MAD.
And as for driving my taxi?
Well I am between and betwixt projects and am like hundreds of drivers.
Almost a part timer.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Simone from Brazil
Oh the glory of Summer. Here we have a girl from Brazil called Simone!
She asked me to hurry up and put her photo on the internet.Looks like she is dressed up for Formula 1 and I hope we will find her a better job than selling newspapers. One of my Brazilian friends will be ringing her tonight.People should stick together when they travel and help each other.
The other photo is of an undertakers shop in Wexford St. When I looked over the owner was looking out through the window, looking for new business. I was not quick enough to get him into the shot.
I met a Hungarian girl on crutches the other day. What happened to you? I was crossing the road at the lights and was struck by a car. They didn't see the lights at all. I broke my leg.
When they brought me into hospital in the ambulance they checked my spine and head. Its ok you have only a broken leg, so they left me on the trolley until 2 o'clock the next day. When they spoke to me again I said I was very sore, then the nurse noticed that I had not been given anything for the pain.
You should be in bed I said.
If I am not at my job I will get the sack. I must have money to pay for my apartment.
No sick pay and no rights. I hope she gets good compensation, but the ladies legal team who struck her will say she can't be too bad if she went to work after a few days.
When you are a non national and you are living in limbo life can be very hard.
Think of the many Irish living in the USA who are in the same situation.
Well we have loads of people here who have no rights to social welfare.
On the other hand all these willing workers are helping our economy move forward, I hope the exploitation that is going on will soon be stopped.
Had to act as the good shepherd yesterday,some people going to the Davonport hotel from the Westbury hotel. Its not far on the map but you have to go around the world to get there. I drove ahead and they followed, thought I had lost them but the traffic was so slow, this must be like what traffic in Bombay is like.
They were very good paid me a e5 tip. Safe home.
The other strange one was a lady and teenager asking to go to a riding stable in Wicklow..Where in Wicklow?...we don't know...Do you have a phone number? No.
Go up to the tourist information office and they will find it for you.
She didn't really want to do that.
Then one by one we became engaged on other jobs as she moved down the line looking for someone to bring her. Well you do need a rough idea of where you are going. Wicklow is a big area to get lost in.
I wonder how it all worked out. I got the feeling that she did not trust us anyhow.
Well I am off to the Airport.
This was a quick blog for Simone the paper seller.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
An honest bob.
Pigs heads on sale in Moore St.
The Ulyssies heading into Dublin port. When launched she was the biggest passenger ferry afloat. Ferry company shamed for paying worker e1 per hour!
Out at the Airport the other day.
After we left the Kesh (the holding area)and arrived up at the pick up area there was a comedian from America first in line. I was next car, but he ignored me so I called up the people behind him to jump in.
Londoners over for the weekend.
They thought he should have gotten into my car as I was first car.
Well I said , he wanted the Merc behind me and that is what he got.
I would not like to know what he will be charged for his trip into town. Probably 300% (at least)more than it should be.The driver of that car is the biggest robber known to man.
He has a brass neck but he gets away with it all the time.
He was once up in court but he tied them up in knots and walked away twice.
The other day I picked up a couple on the Quays going to the Castleknock golf hotel, it overlooks the strawberry beds and is new.
e18.. I like your prices says the girl. What do you mean ?..
We wos charged e28 to come into town..Could you collect us later?
I gave them the number of a radio cab and told them not to step into any other cab.
The driver will have their name when he arrives.
This is how it works. The cabby rips off the customer and drops a few bob to the Porter.Its a worldwide thing.
I told to tell the manager what happened, after all its a reflection on his hotel.
My friend John Ryan told me of one the other day, guy gets in at the Gresham rank.
Listen to this he said. I got a taxi from here yesterday and the guy heads off for the port, then he veers off course. Stop,stop I shouted at him. This is the way. Says he.
I stopped the car and told him to turn around that I work in the port and this is not the way.
Back on course he headed for the port then straight for the port tunnel.
Where the hell are you going now?
This is the way. No its not the ***way.
He reached the toll plaza at the tunnel. No going back now and drove straight through. then up to the roundabout on the M50 then back through the tunnel again.
I gave out stink and directed him to my workplace.
e46 including tolls says he.
Listen mate the fare from O'Connell St to here is e10.
Learn the route and Stop means Stop.
If you want any more money bring the police. I have your roof sign and license number on my phone I will be ringing the regulators office anyhow. So I suggest you do bring the police round to arrest me before I phone them.
He was very annoyed, it was an expensive lesson for the cabby.
Fair enough if a guy knows where he is going you take him where he is going you don't go on a wild goose chase.
New York and Sydney are full of drivers who do not speak English and who have no clue where they are going you could spend a lifetime in transit.
All the scamming that is happening here in Dublin at night beggars belief.
It has become so bad that I would not be surprised to hear of a murder soon, very unsavory characters around in the night time, both as passengers and drivers.
Thought I would give you some 10s of the best for Dublin
1 L'Gueleton. 1 Fade St.Beside Hogans French food. 6753708
2 Chapter One.18/19 Parnell Sq. Beside writers muesium. 8732266
Very busy good reports not cheap www.chapteronerestaurant.com
3 Cafe Bar Deli 78/79 Grafton St. Bewleys6727720
4 Bang Cafe 11 Merrion Row 6760898 www.bangrestaurant.com
beside Unicorn which is reckoned to be good as well..
5 L'Ecrivan 109 Lr Baggott St.www.leecrivian.com,6611919
All I can tell you of this place is a blazing row with an Italian opera singer from the Westbury hotel.. going round in circles, says he. Well you have to don't you. So I gave him a euro for himself because he must be very short of money to bother with such things..
6 Roly's Bistro 7 Ballsbridge tce. www.rolysbistro.ie 6682611
Opposite the US embassy frequented by the well to do.
I picked up a really cool guy there who told me his life story in 20 mins.
The food was great. But as we say in France. I paid for the meal with the skin of my arse. (It was expensive)
7 Eden.Meeting house Sq.Temple Bar www.edenrestaurant.ie
French food. Go to see the IFC and the National Photo Liburary close by.
8 Town Bar& Grill 21 Kildare St www.townbarandgrill.com 6624800
I have brought this guy to work a few times and there are good reports of the food.
Its across the road from the Shelbournes horseshoe bar. another must see.
9 Fallon & Byrne 11/17 Exchequer St www.fallonandbyrne.com
Deli cum restaurant.
10 Honest to Goodness. Market arcade Georges St. www.georgesarcade.com/honesttogoodness
More of a snackspot I would have thought.
These were the top ten last year in the Dubliner best 100 restaurants.
Pubs offer a good carvery lunch. Go out before 8.pm and have the early bird menu.
I will also add a few which are not expensive, which I use and know to be good.
Aya Clarendon St www.aya.ie 6771544
Japanese food.Sushi,(If you knew sushi like I knew suchi)try the brasdcrumb chicken with lime.
LaCave28 Sth Anne St French food, been good for years. 8794409
Hard to find!
The Trocadero 3 Andrews St, plenty of glass and brass sure to impress 6775545
I wonder if I know 10 good Pubs
Posted by John at 9:47 AM 4 comments:
Monday, May 07, 2007
A helping hand
I caught this one in passing.
He has the hoop off, next he must jack up the car and take off the wheel and clamp with a wrench.
Pity that they photograph the car when they clamp it.
So he will pay anyhow.
French students take a break at Croke Park. They must be using one of the many function rooms in the complex for english lessons. I would have been happier if Madame Royal would have won in the French elections.(click the photo to enlarge it)
Brendan Behans house on Clougher Rd.Crumlin.
Brendan wrote a few plays Borstal boy and the hostage.
Among his other works are
Brendan Behans New York and My island.
Great scholar and wit wrote poetry in Irish as well.
He was an awful drunk and he died still a young man.
His last words were spoken to a nun who wiped sweat from his brow as he lay dying.
"The blessings of God on you sister.
May all your sons be bishops."
A flower seller on Grafton St. sets out her flowers for the days trading.
In the background is the statue to Phill Lynott Rocker.
The dealers of Dublin are great people. Great wit and use of language.
Some of which is not known by the clergy.
Changing times have killed Moore st.
They are tearing down and rebuilding the city and the stalls it seems will be moved on.
It is full of Chinese, Russians, Nigerians and Indians at present, it could be anywhere in the world.
Nothing really strange happened.
I had 3 guys from Holland in the cab. Dutch people know lots about trams and they are looking after the overhead cables. They told me that when the built the stops for the Luas(our tram system) the contractors never allowed for the longer trams.
So now the trams cannot stop at some stops because the carriages would block the road or the passengers would fall off because the platform is too short!.
Also the Red Cow roundabout which everyone said was a bad design is being rebuilt as a cloverleaf interchange at a cost of millions.
BECAUSE IT WAS NOT RIGHT.
EVERYONE SAID SO AND THE GOVERNMENT SAID WE WERE WRONG
Met a guy in from the Isle Of Man. Worked in insurance.Very friendly.
Well the Isle of Man is a great place to live in. If you ring for the police they come.
If a drunk breaks a window. He pays for the window, then he has to do community service.
If you urinate in someones garden. Trespass plus indecent exposure a fine plus 60 hours community service.
The TT races will be 100 years old this year. Motorcyclists from all over the world will descend on the island to display skill and real courage on the winding Manx roads.
It is not a race track and bikes that come off the road often hit stone walls.
Joey Dunlop from N Ireland was a real TT hero and I have a tape of him doing a live commentary going around the track."Flat out 160 downhill change down hairpin ahead"
He was killed in a freak downpour while he was racing in somewhere like Slovakia.
The heavens opened and he crashed. the other side of the road was totally dry.
He lived his life to the limit a fearless hero.
Norman Wisdom is another person who lives in the IOM. My passenger told me that even thought Norman is an old man now he has time to talk to the children and does funny walks and is so happy to meet them. He had a very hard childhood himself. His mother died and his father walked out leaving the kids to fend for themselves no social services then.
Other celebs are often openly hostile to admirers.(One would wonder why the wanted to become famous in the first place)
There is no speed limits outside built up areas.
You only pay tax on income UP TO 3 1/2 million,anything over that is tax free.
Peel ,Port of Erin and Ramsey are all worth a visit. But stay away from Douglas if you can.
I picked up a guy going to Croke Park and we had a good chat about how well things went when rugby was played on the hollowed ground of Croke Park. I got a return trip as well.
With the peace process coming to its conclusion in Northern Ireland we both felt that the change in the nation is palpable.
Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley sitting side by side.
I know history was made today when they sat in the Northern Ireland assembly.
One commentator said there is not one street or town in this province where there has not been a murder or a bomb. Each one a tragedy, the effects of war are everywhere.
Perhaps now there will be lasting peace, if it works here there is hope for other countries..
Backache is the curse of taxi drivers, if your back goes into spasm the pain is like a needle into your back. western doctors give you pain killers. My doctor gave me ones that gave me the shits and vomiting, as if things were not bad enough.
So I went to a Chinese doctor who fixed me in about an hour.
"If you are sore in the morning come back and I will fix you free."
Now my doctor could not fix me at all.
He would never guarantee his work either.
Try them and see.
I had a girl from Co Down who had trained in China and was going home to treat an injured horse. You see that sedating animals is not the best option.
She told me about how when they were working in a hospital in China the army came in to enforce the one child per family rule.
Children were taken away screaming. Parents were in total shock and the soldiers marched through the dining room where the sat and cocked their rifles. They conveyed to them in no uncertain terms that they should never speak of what they had witnessed.
On the way home she went to Nepal, on the flight home there was a man who had the most beautiful infant girl you ever saw. He was a fantastic father and the little girl played and laughed.
When things settled down he told my customer how his wife had died and he had sold the child to a German couple. He had to bring her to them as part of the deal, the man had never been out of his village before.
I suppose a German person with a new baby would not get past customs. Customs officers in Nepal would not ask why he had not brought his daughter back home.
I hope she has grown up and been well loved and cared for.
Perhaps here in the west we should think more of the third world, and what real poverty is like.
I have links on the side of my blog about people trafficking etc.Well worth a look.
Today I met 2 people who work in the social services, both wild as kids themselves, turned out well in the end.
Only hope I can get my own son back on the rails.
Here is how to not drive your taxi
Perhaps sometimes it doesent matter how carefully you drive http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b3a_1178283898
I had to replay this 3 times. The clue is in the cranes at the start of the clip.
Posted by John at 3:59 PM 6 comments:
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