Surviving Dublin a city with more taxis than New York. Dublin is a passengers paradise and a taxi drivers hell
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Berry brothers and Rudd wine merchants.
Baggott St. hospital. One of our fine Victorian buildings.
Must get out to take more photos.
Well did 2 all nights this week Friday was so bad that I went home at 2 am with only enough money to cover my petrol and no profit to show for my work.
Saturday I hit all the bases and seemed to have full seats all the time.
Life is like that.
I was just finishing up when I got a run to Kilcock Co.Kildare e57.00.
This was once a sleepy rural town but it is now a suburb of Dublin.
Long runs are good but it never puts you back in the middle of the action,your return journey is a waste.But having said that I have sometimes clicked in Celbridge or Lucan.
Big problem with the all nights is tiredness, I had to pull in in Kilcock and take 40 ZZZZZZZZZZZ you should rest for 15 mins every 2 hours.
More people are killed from tiredness than drink driving.
84.6% of statistics are made up on the spot!.
There was a big punch up at the Foster place rank yesterday, 3 taxi drivers milling each other over nothing. As things are at present there is no space at the ranks for cars to wait for customers,tensions are running high.
The regulator should be called Marie Antoinette.
She has a LET THEM EAT CAKE attitude, she said "If taxi drivers are not able to make a living they should work more efficiently"
Wow that statement went down like a bag of hammers.
Tonight here in Ireland every parent will hold their children a bit tighter and thank their God for giving them good mental health.
There is 4 freshly dug graves waiting for a husband wife and two children.
They are the victims of the latest murder suicide tragedy here in Ireland.
In the last year I have come across more than 4 such cases, the details are too disturbing to even contemplate.
The Celtic Tiger has us all in its gaze, chasing the mighty dollar.
There is a lot more to life than wealth and possessions.
I don't know how it will end, or when, but when it does look to your kin and help each other.
Funny old guy in the taxi the other day. Picked him up at the Ardlea house the scene of the latest gangland shooting. Full of chat. "Great pub that e3.75 a pint for OAPs
Arriving at destination e6.50
"Heres a fiver thats all your getting" and out he hops! Cheeky bugger.
Here is a kind of a rescue in Australia saving Bruce click here(there are ads. first)
Bet that broke more than his fall.
Posted by John at 5:28 AM 4 comments:
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
CHQ, shopping centre in the IFSC, they have sofas where you can sit and talk.
A recently cleaned doorway in Christchurch cathedral.
The other day I had a girl from Paris in the car, she was bringing her daughter into school late as they had been to the eye doctor, she had a "lazy eye" which involves covering up the good eye to make the weak eye stronger.
Talk with a French person comes in always comes back to food, they have such a passion for cooking and baking. Paris has so many pastry shops and coffee shops it's a dossers paradise.
There is a new French bakery on Exchequer St. Yes she had been there. A pain au chocolate and a few pasteries, she handed up e5 but the bill was over e12.
In Paris you would have change from e5!
Now its something when you hear a Parisian telling you that Dublin is so much more expensive than Paris.
There was a cookery program on the telly just now. In the French market the lady bought 4 quasants and the man asked for e1.
If prices keep on going up like this we will suffer very badly.
Things are bad for the Americans and the English coming here (happy st. Georges day)with the Euro so strong.
Good time for us to visit the USA though!
Well you would think Bertie Ahern our prime minister had died and gone to heaven, his last day in the dail and everyone has lovely things to say about him.
Not even one word about "Corrupt payments" or "Whip arounds" to help a mate in need.
Still he and a few others brought peace to Northern Ireland and that was no small achievement.
Perhaps he will head off to negotiate with the Talliban! who knows.
Other news of the week is that in Crumlin childrens hospital a doctor removed a kidney from a child. But it was the good kidney, can anything be worse?
Pressure = Mistakes.
An old guy looked the worse for wear flagged me down at Hearts corner, "ll show you the way, round the corner,Whitworth road. A journey of 150 yards. In the 8 minutes it took he told me his story,that loads of empty taxis had passed him. One stopped and told him he did not know where Whitworth road was and drove on even though I told him I would show him the way.
Then he dropped his bombshell.
"My stepdaughter died yesterday 27 years old, a beautiful girl, we don't know it was suicide or a heart attack...I'm fucking devestated"
As he got out he pusher e5 into my hand keep the change and thanks again for stopping for me.
Guess he needed to tell someone before he exploded with grief.
You just never know, I guess we all would look down and out in the same circumstances.
Here is a lucky guy
I wonder did he do the Lotto as well.
Posted by John at 9:39 AM 3 comments:
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Bonos birthplace 10 Cedarwood Rd.
A fine house on Park Ave. D4(Nothing to do with Bono)
Well the high point of my day was meeting the next door neighbor of Bono when he was a lad growing up in Glassneven.
A nice young lad she said,you will be glad to hear.
He often asked if he was making too much noise when the band started playing.
"Your grand son, it sounds great" She knew that while they were playing music that they would not be into other trouble. "Life is all give and take son"
Seems like his music got better.
Earlier on in the day I spent the guts of an hour trying for my first fare.
When I finally found a place at the end of the queue for Heuston I had to pull up on the box junction which is quite a bit back from the station. A second car pulled over behind me then a third car turned in and left the back of his car blocking the traffic.
The blue flashing light came on the scene and took our 3 licences away for processing.
While he was doing this the guys behind us drove around us and joined the queue for the station.
When he had finished issuing tickets he said.
"Drive away you now,don't join in the Queue".
That was bad enough but I saw 5 empty cars driving into the station to pick up fares where the trains arrive when I was going past, an illegal move, Just like the 2 taxis parked at the entrance while the drivers tout for passengers as they come out of the station,still they get away with it so why not do it?
Its a bit like having you meter running for 5 minutes before you pick up a fare.
Or indeed using many of the other scams which are becoming common place.
I saw the intrepid pair from the taxi regulators office mooching around the Foster place rank.
Why they are not there at 2 AM to intercept the scammers who negotiate much higher fares when its happy home time.
Dublins latest gangster was laid to rest today!
Saw the hearse go by...So many flowers.
Gunned down in a pub, the Ardlea house 8 shots, 2 men just walked in and bang.
There will be a scramble for teratory now.
The taxi business is hitting chrisis point now. Every factory which closes puts a few hundred more drivers on the street.
There is a limited number of fares out there and there is only places on ranks for half or less the number of taxis.
I had a guy from Hong Kong in the car the other day with his girl friend
"Taxi drivers make really good money, e500 a day at least,
They work 4 days then one day to cover expenses,
e2000 a week clear.
If they work the weekends they make loads more money"
Some people think it is true.
I wonder if the had ever told her the story of Cinderella as well.
I was heading back to town when a car pulled in beside me. " Hows business?"
He was going to pick on me for being a green horn, "Well if your own PSV licence is earlier than a C PSV licence keep talking".
He shut up.
"Sorry I thought you had just come in to the business"
Posted by John at 11:24 AM 34 comments:
Sunday, April 20, 2008
A Bigger Gulliver
This is the 15 ft sand sculpture of Gulliver which I missed last time.
Something of beauty a MINI COOPER , a rear head turner!
Recently tarted up HQ of the AIB bank Ballsbridge. Are they giving me the fingers?
Well I got out again and it even takes a while to work up your float!
I have been zipping about and I find that I have lost my rithym.
I find that I am not in the right place at the right time, missing ferries and flights. But like Tiger Woods,
My swing will return.
As I get older I have learned to bend like a willow in the wind!
Like last night I was stopped near Bins Bridge by a group, they kept me waiting 2 minutes ,then said. "We want to wait for a big taxi!"
Well once upon a time I would have said "That will be e4.10"Which is the cost when you stop a taxi.
Or I once might have explained that when you pay all the 1 euro charges per passenger and put it against the time waisted while you wait for a 6 seater you would be quids ahead by taking 2 taxis....
As I say it is not up to me to educate people, so I just drove on and did not resent the other taxi in front of me picking up a fare,which would have been mine had I not stopped for them in the first place.
Still its good to be back.
I worked my butt off but I did not rest enough during the day and found tyredness setting in around 2 am Fri. and Sat.
Then I stopped...........
Virgin radio has a big campaign about driver fategue at the present time.
More people are killed by tiredness than through drunken driving.
This will be a big factor going forward for more pay when the hours one must work to make a living wage become longer and longer.
"How man roads must a man drive down?"
I got a fright last night near the Bleedin horse pub.
There was 3 girls in the back and we saw a girl going through the bins,
"Think you're bad look at that."
Just at that point the lady turned to go to the next bin and we saw her face. 25/30 and I know her!
Where I know her from my mind will tell me later.
But she was a bright and articulate person once, and not very long ago.
Looks like she has had a complete mental breakdown, poor woman.
I hope someone who cares about her finds her soon,it is strange how the best of people fall through the net
Loads of people are loosing their jobs now,many do not know how to cope.
Its really scary.
Look after your mental health!
Thats what the ad says.
I despair of our society when I see elderly and mentally ill people wandering in our streets, it is a direct reflection of the quality of our own lives.
How do we treat our ill or elderly people?
Of all the head cases(I mean passengers) I had one in the last few days one sticks out.
She works on private hire cruisers.
Off to the South of France now where she joins her boat.
She works around the world and has seen a lot.
She even was shipwrecked once!
Boat started to sink,,more and more..Then
Mayday !! Mayday !!and a rescue off the coast of Cuba...
The boat just sank to the bottom of the sea.
They never found out why beacause the boat was never salvaged.
I will try to carry a note book to take observations as they happen, when I finish a shift I am so tired that I sleep and forget what took place.
Normal enough I suppose.
Posted by John at 3:38 PM 2 comments:
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Back in the world
A sand sculpture depicting a scene from "Gullivers Travels" By Dean Jonathan Swift.
Voted to be a Book for Dublin
This is one of the new bridges, a pedestrian one known as the "Bingo bridge"
Why? Because the locals cross it to play bingo.
Well I am back in the world.
As a famous singer once said.
A bus and Luas ride and I picked up a mate's car to drive for 10 days while he is in America.
Its hard to believe in the few weeks I have been off how many extra taxis there are on the ranks, one example is at Stephens green there is a u shape taxi rank then a queue of cars trying to get on!!!
I pulled down to Dawson st where a Chinese guy who pulled in behind me told me he was giving up.
"I sold my taxi last week, now I do interviews for jobs, this is a hired car"
My dad never told me much, but he did tell me "If the Chinese are leaving an area or a trade, leave too....."
They are not mugs
Good old Dad.
I met a disgraced Prince of the church today.
A really nice guy, seemed to have been out of the country for ages, asked about the Luas etc.
When he got out the guy who was with him told me who he was, took me a while to recall a lot his history.
You know court cases can be handled badly and people may capitulate in order to minamise the damage to others, the law is a difficult dissapline.
I do know that the press paint stories with broad strokes, but I can tell you he was a really nice guy, with no malice in his heart at all.
Tomorrow, as Elisabeth Taylor once said is another day.
I was told that a practice wihich has emerged is the steeling of taxi signs from parked cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our signs are held on by magnets, so the sign just lifts off.
"What are they doing with them?" I asked.
Well stick it on their roof and zoom through the traffic in the bus lane!.
And they are using them in robberies!
For a quick getaway.
A guy had his roof sign taken and reported it to the Garda.
3 Weeks later a car robs a place and drives off with his plate on the roof.
The Garda decend on his house wit ha sheaf of warrents.
"You know that this sign was reported stolen 3 weeks ago the taxi driver screams, if you had looked for it this would not happen.....Are you all fucking mad? Do you think I would use my own taxi to rob someone?"
He was not best pleased when his sign was stolen again and involved in another robbery, probably the same gang.
So boys and girls, take off your roof sign and stick it on to the end of your bed.
Posted by John at 2:29 PM 1 comment:
Friday, April 11, 2008
Dutch type building near St Patrick's cathedral, thats its spire uc dere.
Liberty hall, Ireland's first sky scraper soon to be demolished!
A detail from the customs house,one of Gandons finest creations
Well here I am, Friday night and not at work. I have the NCT test for the Prius next week.
Yes folks it will be a Taxi.
I got stuck because the software is different than the model sold here and all the instruments are in Japenese, the TV dosent work and even the radio won't get Country mix
I have a new Taxi licence number in the 41,000s and I had a meter fitted today.
On Wednesday I will go to the testing center and perhaps the car will pupate into a taxi.
I don't really know why the licence fee goes to the NCT people, and not into the coffers of the regulator, still thats none of my business.
I tried to buy an existing licence plate but after looking in the papers for 2 weeks I found nothing. I heard of a taxi drivers widow who was trying to sell her late husbands plate, I would have bought it but the taxi regulator cannot decide whether she can transfer it or not.
It must be nice to be able to sit on the fence and think will I? wont I?
Another cup of tea Mary!
While a widow is deprived of e6500!
Kids to feed, still not your problem Kathleen!
Whisper on the streets!
Top secret, so don't tell.
The regulator is going to cap the number of taxi plates.
But in a different way.
She will buy back the licence from people leaving and anyone wanting to buy a plate will go on a waiting list, she must have thousands of lapsed plates sitting on her computer waiting to be re-issued anyhow.
Last week I met 2 guys one from Boston the other from Canada,first time in Ireland.
They had stayed too long on the bus and wanted to get off at the Collins barricks meusium, they had passed it and the bus driver told them that they should Fuck Off and go Back to their own Country!!!!!!!!!!
They thought the driver was west Indian or Jamacian....
I think he must have been just a disenchanted taxi driver!
I have the loan of a taxi for next week yipee! so one way or another I will be back in the saddle.
While I am on my soap box click on the advertisements, thats how the blog makes me money.
How much do you think Google are paying me. $1,000 $10,000 Yes for something like 150 posts!
or something like $13.75 Provided I can prove I am tax compliant in the USA.
You know I am hardly tax compliant here....
Posted by John at 2:46 PM 1 comment:
Monday, April 07, 2008
On the first Sunday of the month an old horse fair takes place in Smithfield, right in the heart of the city. The area has been redeveloped and the new Posh people want the fair stopped, but tradition still holds power and the"urban cowboys" rule the day.I don't know how people don't get killed as horses are trotted up and down on the cobble stone street at full gallop. No saddles,no helmets racing like lunatics.
Its a sight to behold.
If you want to see any of the pictures better just click on the photo to enlarge it.
Spring has come for the sailors of Clontarf they had a busy weekend launching their boats, a crane is brought in for 2 days and they anchor them out in the bay until autumn.
Well I got out in the world for a day on Sunday.Plenty of people coming back to the city, there was delays in trains and planes. I have the unfortunate knack of joining the wrong queue no matter where I am.
Still I got a run to Howth and another to Booterstown which made up for the wait.
You could get the Coachmans inn or Keyleys pub just outside the perimeter fence.
One day I had a guy who was going to Omega air express just outside the airport.
I said nothing, I am a big boy and I don't grumble. (much)
The fare was 5 quid (old money)Heres 20 quid for not giving out to me.
I had an awful day.
Missed my flight.
Had to charter a plane, I had to be there.
I looked at his big BMW and saw a wide brimmed had as worn by horse trainers.
Did the horse win?
God he did.
And you landed on the racecourse, so all in all it was a great day.
Open the doors for 10 mins to let out the heat.
Good idea, thanks for everything.
and we parted never to meet again.
Delays at Heathrow had a knock on effect further down the line and I am sure that around 10 pm the 6pm people were coming in late, late, gotta get a taxi.
By then many of the taxi drivers had gone home annoyed with waiting around all day.
Then there was loads of work.
C'est la vie as the French say.
Willie Walsh the x boss of Aer Lingus is feeling the heat over terminal 5.
The pilots association are writing to all the major shareholders pointing out his shortfalls should be an interesting summer.
What about the spitting supermodel!
Well I know she is not right in the head but. Perhaps if some scabby looking indaviual were to spit into her face we might find a cure.
I rang the NCT people about my licence after a few questions she told me that she would get an officer to call me back.
I am still waiting.
IF THE WEATHER PICKS UP I MIGHT BE FORCED TO BECOME A FULL TIME PAINTER.
Posted by John at 1:04 AM 1 comment:
Labels: smithfield horse fair
Friday, April 04, 2008
Co Armagh vista
Vintage car dashboard.
Clock tower in St.Annes Park
Well here I am.
Stuck! No taxi.
I sent off my money for a new taxi plate and I checked in the bank and they have not cashed my check, what is going on ?.
I have not been idle,those lawns do not clip themselves or dripping taps undrip.
I may get a loan of a car tomorrow. But I will have one next week.
In the old days most cars had a driver and a cosy the cosy worked the car when the driver was off.
Some companies had cars working 24/7.
All kinds of shifts on offer at different prices to drivers.
Since deregulation we can all go home when the going gets rough.
You know all the different people you meet, one guy sticks out in the last 18 months. Richie is his name,told me he was starting up an internet radio station.
"Green and gold" Auzzie and Irish" and he did.
Well he phoned me up and asked me to update the link on the blog.
Hows the radio station going? I have 2 now another one in America as well.
Fair play boy.
I will put up the link soon.
Loads of people have moved their sites and a lot of new sites have been found.
The net is a great feast of information.
Found a site tonight when I Googled telling me about what a fraud the person was that I Googled was, well thats a relief.
We complain about the weather a lot but we don't do too bad really.
They say that water will be the new oil.
Well we are rich in water, thats for sure.
Sorry to the 3 people who log on to this site every week that there is nothing happening.
But the ice is melting.
Here is a clip.
Look how the drummer takes over and steals the show.
Posted by John at 3:46 PM 1 comment:
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