Surviving Dublin a city with more taxis than New York. Dublin is a passengers paradise and a taxi drivers hell
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The dead walk tonight
A high speed ferry belonging to Stenna line with a Welsh dragon on the side. It has been parked down at the Point depot for a few weeks.
These boats are not cheap and need to be working 24/7 to pay the bills.
A new skyline down near Sir John Rogersons quay
Remember the conference center on which the work had stopped?
The latest news I hear is that it was built without planning permission being granted,so they can't insure it so the work has stopped.
Wow....perhaps they will blame the new Polish guy,who will be innocent.
This week I took the bull by the horns and tackled a job which I had been putting off, after the income tax I felt that it was important to have the seats covered in best leatherette.
Christmas is coming and the people with full bladders will be getting into the car. No nasty surprises this year, just a quick wipe and a dash of Dettol and on I will go working.
I was told of a guy in Drogheda who does a good job,so on Tuesday I drove over and got it done.
They did a really good job and a lot cheaper than in Dublin.
Do you want the number? 041 9841302.
He takes the seats out of the car and makes the covers to measure really tight,I am told that they will not stretch and get loose,time will tell.
I had to wait around for most of the day for them to do their magic but I was close to the dole office and it is the busiest place in town.
It is hard to say if it the recession or if too many shopping centers have opened up in the town but a lot of shops in the town are closed up and even in the Laurence shopping center there was lots of vacant units. To add pain to the situation they are building a new shopping center around 2 miles out the Dublin road.
This is to be open for Christmas.
I pity anyone trying to make a living there.
One of the guys who made the covers told me a tale of how peoples attitudes changed for the worse during the Celtic Tiger boom years.
He bought a new suite of furniture from a guy he knew and trusted in Navan.
But after a few months it collapsed, so he took a look at the frame and found it to be of a very inferior quality.
His pal did not want to hear about a refund and dismissed him.
So he brought the suite of furniture back, when he demanded a refund he was refused.
So he decided to take the shop to court,the shopkeeper just said.
"You don't have enough money to sue me,don't waste your time"
It took 3 years the guy said but I got my money back...With costs...the publicity helped put his furniture shop out of business too.
Just goes to show you how you can't be too arrogant.
More people who rode in the taxi who have been given their notice to quit.
A girl this morning came home from London in January, she works in advertising she told me that the revenue just dried up. She has 4 weeks notice to work before she goes. Flying to London on Monday to do interviews, good luck.
Lets hope she doesn't decide to start driving a taxi!
Dell in Limerick are laying off workers and another place is laying off 400.
Well that's nearly all from the lazy acre, where all customers are happy and well behaved, In a place where you only have to point to the sky and 20 taxis stop.
Where at 2.AM taxis wait in line to bring home the happy party people..
Well from midnight fares have gone up 8%
And the cost of getting sick in the car has gone up as well.
Have a nice Halloween
Here is the link to the drivers survival handbookNow the book is full of "padding" but I suppose if it gets you off one speeding ticket it would be well worth it.
Posted by John at 10:06 AM No comments:
Monday, October 27, 2008
The Point opening soon. Now called the O2 venue.
The lightship Kitywake lies in the foreground.
At the Point "March without the people and you march into the night"
We had a budget and the people protested, they tried to tax the sick and force cut backs in education, the protesters are marching on the Bastille.
Well here we are today!
Winter just around the corner,the clocks turned back (daylight saving)
and the Dublin city marathon over for another year.
The first lady across the line was on her first ever marathon, well done to one and all who took part, no use taking photos we have to work.
It was a funny weekend with regard to work,there was very few people around and loads of taxis.
I went home on Saturday and Sunday night night, made up some ground today Monday, loads of people coming back to the city after the weekend away. The Cork Jazz festival was the second big thing after the marathon here in Dublin.
The old Garda were out with road blocks taking breath samples at random, can't even begin to understand why they would pull a working taxi in and test them, do they think for a second that a working driver would drink? While they are testing him chances are that another driver is slipping through the net.
I learned one thing from a well pissed nurse though, my mate Alan was held up by a guy with a syringe a few weeks ago, it worked out OK in the end.
She told me that you have nothing to fear from a blood filled syringe, we get needle stabs all the time, you just go to a doctor straight away and get an anti viral injection and you will be fine, I spoke to a second nurse and she told me that it is a series of injections, but you will have little to fear,she had just run the marathon in 4 hours 55 mins. and was going out to celebrate,I hope she is off tomorrow as she was wiped out with tiredness even though she was going out now.
Now to the second thing I learned.
A lady form Brighton over here needed to hire a car, she had lost her licence for speeding but she has had it back for over 2 years.
Hertz would not give her a car, so she asked me to take her to the airport to get one. I found Budget in Drumcondra open, they had a car for her, no problem. I guess she will hold a grudge against Hertz forever. I mean its not like she killed someone, you could loose your licence in a 20 mile trip the way these speed cameras are everywhere.
I tried to tell her about a book I bought last month "the drivers survival handbook" by Marin Thwaite. (streetwise publications)Can't find the web page.Google it, but the book reckons that 95% of the tickets issued can be fought and beaten there and then and a lot of the others will not stand up in court. If you know how to deal with them.found it on Amazon but I got mine new a lot cheaper.
I will find the website next time I post.
She had drifted off to other thoughts by then so she did not hear me. (Taxi drivers know nothing)
Late one night 2 Liverpool lads stopped me in Pearse st."Turn around lad were going to the Holiday inn" I explained that it was a one way street.
Then they decided that they would do a deal with me, to get me to bring them there for e5. well flag fall is e4.10 plus e1 for second passenger, so I just said enjoy the walk, how many pints did you get with a few bob off the price, thing was that the fare would have been only around e5.30 but bad attitude gets you nowhere.
Another happy couple off to the airport from Heuston station. "Going anywhere nice?" Cuba came the answer and I had no Buena Vista Social Club to play for them.
Off on their honeymoon, the fare came to just over e25 .but they gave me e30 a full e5 tip. Think of them sunning themselves in a 5 star hotel as you read this and send them best wishes..
I never heard that mix before it's good..No?
The thing I love about the BVSC is that they were all washed up on the scrap heap and were recycled as it were, golden oldies!The pianist Reubin Gonzalez died a while ago, I wish I could play the piano 1/2 as well as him....
Oh the old American cars of the 60s and the fine buildings, lets all go before Fidel Castro dies.I have the video, great to look at on a very wet day here in Dublin.
You if you don't have some of their music its great for coming back to town after a long run.. Punters usually don't appreciate it.Have a look on you tube for more.
Just to finish, one hero of Cuba is Che Guevara that iconic portrait was painted by an Irishman in Kilkee Co.Clare. Che was on a stopover in Shannon on his way to Moscow and someone brought him for a bit of a spin around, the student recognized him and drew his portrait.
That portrait was copied by many people and appeared in loads of places, but the artist never got a penny for his work, a pity that.
Posted by John at 5:05 PM 3 comments:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Into the night
Poster for the new must see show.
Cassidys pub Camden St.where Bill Clinton was brought for his pint.
A new magic show opens in Dublin,4 years in the making and sure to thrill.
When the Dublin run ends it goes to Las Vegas(I kid you not)
I likes a bit of magic I do.
Good magic gives you the most fun you can have legally without taking your clothes off.
I must change my profile I do work days ,but I have to work nights as well or I won't eat,so many taxis so little time.
Last Saturday at 1.30 am saw me in Fitzwilliam Sq. where a young drunk lady was waving me down. I stopped at the casino further down, but she shouted and ran up to me."Why didn't you stop" Now saying I didn't see you would not have been the answer, there was no part of her body I could not see, she was blotto as well and alone.
I'm going to Leeson St.
A U turn so, says I.
This is So not the right direction,
This is soooo the right direction says I.
Man do you think I am stupid?
Well if you look straight ahead you can see Leeson St.
Man I was so lost I was walking for hours.
When we pulled in there was around 6 people looking for taxis....All blottto like the folks of "Night of the living dead" I had to blow the horn to make them move away so that I could drive on, they were so drunk that they could not see that the car was empty.
I thought how easy it would be if you were a rapist,Those girls would not know what happened.I don't pick up single girls as a rule 2 or 3 OK. even single guys bitch and moan how they have walked and could not get a taxi.
Lighten up, thank the guy who stopped and tell him what a great guy he was for stopping.
I know that the background checks on taxi drivers are not what they used to be.
I also know that there are cloned cars and cars being driven by unlicensed drivers.
Now back to crime and punishment.
I see from the paper that a guy was jailed for 6 years for fracturing a taxi drivers skull. the guy has a 107 previous convictions and was on bail for ramming a Garda car with a stolen car.
I wonder how many years he would have had to serve if he had fractured a judges skull.
With 107 previous convictions he should not have been on the street at all, that's for sure.In the good old USA they have a rule 3 strikes and your out, or in forever.
The taxi driver still has no sense of taste or smell and numbness on the left hand side of his face.
Car dealers were on the radio the other day, not doing too well,you got what you deserved lads. Before Christmas the car sales people were behaving like divas, not talking to customers.Well we buy in the UK on the net and in Japan and we don't want to be ignored any more thank you.
There are bargains to be had remember the BMW Z4 no reasonable offer refused?
I never seem to have the cash ready for offers like that,I wonder how much they got.
What can I say
Posted by John at 1:43 PM 2 comments:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The new conference center from across the Liffy
Early morning dole Queue for unemployment benefit outside a post office
Well the recession is here like the chill in the Autumn air.
The builders on the conference center got a nasty shock last Friday when the boss called them to order and told them that there was no money to pay them and to come back on Monday.300 workers sent home I am told. The glaziers are the only ones working on the site as I write, look at the small yellow dots on the glass front.
A lot of building projects are in serious trouble. Apartments and new homes stand finished with no buyers coming forward.
The banks would not lend money to buyers anyhow.
A lot of doom and gloom about, even the 8% increase is being touted as a bad thing.
Well the cost of adjusting the meter e75 then the cost of sealing it up again something like e95 is a BIT steep, considering its only a few minutes work.
We will have to work a long time to get it back when you consider the falling incomes and the perception that the future is looking worse.
I had 4 Polish girls laughing and joking in the car on Saturday night, the reason for the great joy?
They were breaking up and going back to Poland.
Back to their studies where they will become responsible citizens in the new Europe.
Bringing happy thoughts of Ireland home with them.
As you will know,if you read this tripe that I churn out week after week.I believe that they are qualified well above the positions they hold here in Ireland.
Yes they loved Ireland and they felt no racial abuse apart from not being able to secure good jobs in the beginning, now a new page is turning in their lives.
So they return home wiser and happy.
I wish them a good future. People like them are the very best kind of people. They left home and ventured over here, they were the brave ones taking a chance, not sitting on their backsides moaning.
A bit like the Irish who fled to the USA, Australia and God knows where to avoid our financial blight in the 50s 60s and 70s..When they came back they brought skills and money which spawned the "Celtic Tiger" May the Celtic tiger rest in peace.
Every week I find a reason to thank God for my good health and my lot such as it is.
The train was late and I picked up a couple with a teenage girl going to the Blackrock Clinic, I thought the patient was the young girl as I could see that she was looking at the sky and feeling around the seats as we drove there.
As they were getting out I hoped that she would get a good result,"no its me " said her mother.The girl it turned out was deaf and dumb and was almost blind, though when I waved goodbye to her she took my hand and shook it.
I thank God for my wife and 3 strong healthy sons.
I don't think I could swap places with them for too long.
I hope your mum gets better soon.
A tourist robber ( from Tallagh)came to Killester to hold up our local Super Value store. Stories abound as to what happened next. One is that a local lad on hearing the commotion and seeing the robbery going on went down to the kitchen section and got a knife.
When the robber came out he let him have it and killed him.
So much for crime tourism, we can rob our own shops without any help thank you very much.
The weekend is gone and we are almost through the week again. The weeks are becoming a blur, the other night I saw cherry pickers driving around with Christmas decorations and I see the street decorations on Talbot St Trinity St and just about everywhere are up. the trees are getting their lights attached on O'Connell St and on the Quays.
Octoberfest is on in Georges dock, tempis feugit as they say.
I am going to have my seats covered next week I will put up a photo and see what you all think.
Just thought I would stick in this bit of skillful driving.
What do you think?
Posted by John at 9:52 AM 2 comments:
Friday, October 10, 2008
Blink and your moneys gone
Nothbrook clinic Northbrook Rd.
This house at the top of Highfield rd.Rathgar.
It has been completely rebuilt it must be the biggest house ever.
It was a funny week, not too funny with vomiting and diarrhea on Sunday and Monday and then still fasting all that time until Wednesday....Then I heard that this started off in Lourdes France where the Carmalite nuns went, and they all caught it and then brought it home.
Makes sense of the expression holy s***.
Doesn't make me feel better knowing that,but I do feel better now at last.
So my lucky spirit keeps sending me work and I can flit around this city and meet people on a mission and get them there.
I went to Grafton St the other day and parked up at the Westbury hotel, I went down to talk to the flower sellers, they sell a sight of flowers, the flowers are all exotic and very special, they do very well.
While I was there a guy of around 17 caught my eye. He had a distant look on his eyes you could really see that he was in a trance. As I watched he started twitching all over,arms,legs and head.
The police really don't care about people like him and if you are reporting something you have to slant it in a different way, or they will never respond.
So I rang them and I explained that I was afraid he might attack someone, but he really needed help himself.
I hung up the mobile and I stood beside the flower sellers for a while.
After 5 minutes he came over and asked for directions to Bewleys cafe and he wandered off..A young Garda arrived after a while and we pointed the guy out but I don't know how well clued in he was (he was very young)this would not be a situation which would end well if the policeman did not use tact.
Back to the car where a Scottish actor who is filming here wanted to go to Portmarnock golf club,, he was getting a bit upset about the drizzle when we arrived and when he paid me I passed him the change and he gave me e5 tip.
Then he had no umbrella!!
So I said take mine and leave it with the doorman tomorrow..
"If there had been no tip there would have been no umbrella", but he laughed and said that he always tipped anyhow,people watch for actors not tipping.
Today after 3 calls to his room today we located it,in the store room.
I went to City West with a guy who sells hardware.
He talked about the sudden recession.
"It is like a curtain fell"
Guys who placed orders for e10,000 per month every time suddenly did not repeat the order, then the repeat order fell to only e1,400 which in hardware terms is nothing.
Accounts are due.
We are on shorter working time, we are dropping staff.
But the big thing is that we see no end to it ....and now the banks want their money too.
He was happy getting out though and tipped well.
(A sign that you have done a good job)
Guess he won't be in the market for a new BMW soon though.
I turned the car and went down to the City West hotel for a pee, I just stopped the car, but before I could get out a group of Dutch people got in going to the Square in Tallagh..
The biggest guy sat in the front his legs were too long to go out straight so he sat with his knees up on the dash..Big in every way, I told him he should go for"The strongest man" instead.
He is a darts player I saw him on telly a few times."180".
I went back into town then and tried to use the toilets in Heuston train station. As I was going in I met someone coming out, we are cousins and she was so glad to see me. we knew each other instantly, so 10 Min's were spent on people from home, by the time we had hugged our farewells the people were coming out of the station,the fare was a pilot going to Weston aerodrome a private airfield, he told me that most of the jets were gone, taken back from their owners and a lot of the other ones were going to be taken back, he was still doing OK though.
I got the impression he worked for the Repro man.
Back to the station.
my next fare took me to Burgh quay to Birminghams cameras where I was presented with my fourth e50 note of the day.
The guy in the shop would not cash the note, so I turned to the customer and said I would bring him to a different camera shop...Look these guys can't be up to much if they can't even change a e50 note..
There was a moment when I told him i would have bring him up to the Camera Exchange on Andrews St."But I have been coming here since I was a lad" said the customer.
The guy behind the counter woke up then, he opened the till and the money flowed. Thank you Moses..
And off I went on to find my next mission.
I went back to the coffee house where I have had my last bad coffee.
I SWORE I would never go back.
I decided I would tell her that her love life was affecting me,she would never see my smiling face again and that I would tell her uncle(Dracula) about her when I went back to Transylvania for my holidays...
I guess people from Transylvania are not great in the mornings!
She smiled at me and said "yes I am still in love with my husband of 14 years"
(I should have said that she should go for more mature men, but it would be in bad taste)
She got quite perky then and the coffee would have given you a blister on your tongue.
Hot drinks. Happy days.
The new taxi fares have been declared,(8% overall) so when I was dropping off at the airport I popped into the meter place.
"I'll do it for you now son"
6 Min's work,tops, e75
Now I have to get it sealed that costs another e60 at least.
I would like to see an international price comparison, but I know this is a rip off!
He was telling me he had done meters for 3 pilots in the last few weeks, 2 passenger ones and a helicopter pilot.
Now theres a sign of the times we live in.
Thought I won the Lotto the other day, yes the ticket looked good, seemed I had 4 numbers though I did not know what the other numbers were.
But my 7 should have been a 17 and the other 2 numbers were out as well...what the heck..I would only spend it.
It was a strange feeling driving around with a e3 million ticket in your pocket for all you knew and you had not having the time to check it.
Yes I will split it between my fan base.
Posted by John at 2:18 PM 2 comments:
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Just a few words
The statue of Molly Malone which is at the bottom of Grafton St.
A statue of james Connolly. One of the leaders of the 1916 rising against the British executed.
I just thought I would stick in a bit of you tube in case a certain lady looks up the blog, otherwise I have little to say today.
Well I fell violently ill on Sunday so I was forced to take 2 days off, got back into the swing of things today.
I got 3 good fares together one after the other each one over e20..Its great when that happens.
I met an Italian girl going home after a hard days work in an American bank.
"Any exciting holidays planned? "
"Why yes I am going to Buenos Aries to visit my boy friend" " Ah the tango" says I..
Why yes I love the tango and I am looking forward to doing tango there."
She has been doing tango lessons here in Dublin for the past few years.
I hope she will visit the tango school which is run by a taxi driver.
As far as I can find out he is a bit of a Micheal Flatley as he works on many shows.
This is Libertango
And this the masters of the tango dance
Posted by John at 3:12 PM No comments:
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Could do better.
Blessington basin used to be the reservoir for the Jeameson distillery
A good judge of a restaurant.
Well getting back into the swing of things though "she who must be obeyed"is pointing to jobs to do.Not a hell of work on the streets so I can keep everyone happy.
The photo is of a toilet in a Chinese restaurant in Parnell St.
What a mess! The walls had little bits of toilet paper stuck to the walls.
That's the kind of mess you get from clearing the drains......But then you are supposed to hose down the walls and spray a bit of disinfectant around.
That's another place I won't be visiting in a hurry.
Sign of the times I see sandwich bars and high price coffee houses closing down.
Restaurants are feeling the pinch now too.
I got an e mail from Japan Z4 BMW sports car waits at Dublin port no reasonable offer refused.
Must be bought today.
High spec too.
Talking of Japanese imports, did you know that the electrics, radio, sat nav,TV etc. will not work in Ireland. I had a wave band expander fitted in my car radio and I can now get the full range of FM stations instead of just one.
The guy laughed when I asked for a radio with a tape deck,"Living in the stone age,its I pods now"
Still my old cassette tapes were great.(Not 8 track)
Then there's the banks,safe and sound.
Every man woman and baby have promised to bail them out if they go under.
When I see what these fund managers were paying themselves in spite of the losses that they were making.
And the salaries of the top executives it makes me quite angry.
A lady going to the Bon Securs hospital started thinking I was bringing her the wrong way, be patient for a second says I, coming off Botanic Rd. That's it on top of the hill.
I thought it was somewhere else she says.
Well I never heard that before.
You bring a person to the place and they tell you it should be in another geographical location altogether,,,,even though they are there.
I can't fathom where the traffic blockages are coming from,when you get through the hold up there seemed to be no reason for it to be there altogether. Except in Capel st where the last 2 lights are out of sync again it makes me mad.
So keep your chin up your eyes on a distant star, stepping boldly forward.
Mind the dog shit.
Posted by John at 9:15 AM 1 comment:
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