Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I think this was called the National Irish bank in Foster place.
Its owned by Trinity college now.

I noticed this sign at the port 3 weeks ago.
A long wait for sure

A really well mentained house in Sandymount.

Happy Thanksgiving!
One thing Americans who come to live here find strange is that we don't have thanksgiving, our turkey is for Christmas !

You know its a funny world.
One of Belfast's longest serving staff members has re mortgaged her house to fund the rape crisis center.
The council has not sent funds for 3 years.
Selling her house was a last resort.

Perhaps it is not needed you might think?

Well no,they get 100 calls a week!
Rape has increased in NI by 50% since 2002.
In the first 6 months of 2007 there were 73 child rapes in Northern Ireland.

Makes you think.

Sometimes I feel that we should storm the Basteele and drag out our useless leaders and cut off their benefits.

"At a time when the members of the Northern Ireland assembly draw a wage and do not sit in Stormount an angel in heaven must be crying" (My quote)......Taken from the Sunday Times 23/11.

Perhaps its just me thats going crazey, but when you read things like that in the paper you just don't know what to think.

The MD of our national work strategy group known as FAS has at last resigned because of his lavish spending.$900 rounds of golf and $400 hairdoos Florida must be a very nice place.
They had been gunning for him for months.

I am glad that I am pulling the contents of my garage out,it keeps me busy,If I was driving anything like full time I would be pulling out my hair in fistfuls.

You just can't get on to a rank in Dublin now because there are so many taxis on the road.

Some guys must be in a very bad way now.

I was looking at the Tampa taxi blog perhaps things are not any better anywhere else I don't know.
Supply and demand, well we have supply.

I the UK they are cutting VAT (sales tax) while they are increasing it here.
We have a land border with the UK so cars are driving up to Newry causing traffic jams.
While in Dundalk, the republic side, shops are empty.

But the news is not all bad petrol is to be had at e.99.9....that's under a euro!!

Just back from the night shift it was good Geremy Clarkson and co held the Top Gear show the punters were very happy coming out.
What do you mean you don't know who he is?

They were on TV last week driving the new Beugatti on a test track 250 MPH!!!!!!
Fast by any reckoning.

Anyhoo I got a run down to Manooth and got e50 for my trouble.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cold start to the week

a27 year old Aston Martin in Hume St

The National gallery Merrion Sq

Our newest monument to remember Irish armed service people who died.

Tempratures have fallen and winter has come, there is a mean wind blowing
A fare at Heuston today going to the Mater public.
They were an English couple he was in a wheelchair,came to settle here 5 years ago, he then had perfect health.
Now he is on the waiting list for a lung transplant.
He was heroic about it,the government has waisted so much money that this will just never happen.Now he is just a guinea pig, they are not going to fix him for sure ,so why waste his time dragging him all the way to Dublin.
His day started at 5.15am
He was well until a couple of years ago and this came on him suddenly.
I had a hard time getting the guy at the hospital to lift the barrier and allow me to drop him at the door.(Jobs worth)I just got firm with him and said "do mean to stand there and prevent a taxi from dropping off a wheelchair patient who needs a lung transplant? Think of what the hospital manager will say."
That did the trick and he let us in.He was Irish too.
I have never ever been prevented from passing through the barrier before.
Makes you glad of your own good health for sure.

A bad weekend for traffic deaths,this will give the police an excuse to put speed cameras om wide straight stretches of road where accidents never happen to gather more revenue.
Most of the deaths happen on quiet country roads.
Even taxi drivers falling asleep cause crashes.

On Pierse St at the weekend I was driving in the r/h lane when a taxi which had signalled to turn left in the bus lane spotted a passenger who was 10 yards in front of me and he crossed 4 lanes of traffic with his left indicator still flashing. I should have plowed straight into him broadside. But he was probably not kosher anyhow, no insurance or driving licence etc.

Later on at around midnight a car passed me near Barrow St with no lights on.
I flashed my lights and blew the horn, no reaction, so I turned on my trusty Aldi torch and shone it in her rear view mirror,nothing.
When she stopped at the lights I jumped out but the lights changed. Further down Pierse St she almost creamed another car which pulled out without giving a signal. We were at the lights after the fire station when I managed to run up and tap on her window.
She just stared at me without expression.
I spoke and shouted about no lights a Nigerian lady she was in a complete daze, staring blankly at me. After 3 attempts, her front seat passenger leaned over and turned on the lights for her and then she said thanks.
I never saw anyone drive like that before, I believe she was under the influence of drugs a 00 Galway car with a 3 digit number,, look out for it.

Well after I threatening to quit the blog a nice chap from Bukino Fassa contacted me and he is sending me loads of money. The other offer I had was a million dollar grant from some Italian philanthropical society, today a banker from Japan has stepped up .

When all that come in I will be so rich!(I don't think so)

Some nurse paid $40,000 dollars into that Nigerian scam,she was wondering when her money was coming (Or was it $400,000)
I used to get the readers digest and they kept telling me I had won millions every month, I would just ask them just to send on the money!
They never did.

I don't know if you follow veryfunnyads.com have a lookclick here
The VW one with the singing dog is great,you can search for it by catagory, its a corker!.
They change every few weeks so bookmark it.

Here is something completely different.

A guy called Kieran Boylan from Ardee was importing drugs and when someone noticed some drugs concealed in his yard they informed the Garda.
The Garda did nothing about it and in fact Mr Boylan threatened the informer, still no action was taken.
They turned a blind eye to his operation until he was caught with €1.7 million of cocaine and heroin.
Charges against him were then dropped and he was released without charge when he threatened to tell about the extent of his "relationship" with the force.

It seems that he would sell drug deals to small time dealers and inform the Garda who would then catch them, they would in turn allow him to distribute the larger quantaties without hindrance.

Well the Garda ombudsman has the file now.

You know I am not surprised to hear about this.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday, where did the week go?

A boat from the RHA

A hawk at the RHA This looks super.

New trollys waiting for the airport Christmas rush

Forgive me for springing the last post on you my dear reader.
But I believe that perhaps someone may now seek out help or rethink their plans as a result.
I hope so.
Many people are in trouble with money (MABS give great free advices) though don't leave it too late.

A well known property developer who owes the banks in excess of e500 million.
He was called in to tell them how he was going to deal with the current problem.
He arrived into the board room without accountants etc all he had was a briefcase.
They spoke to him at length about how his assets had fallen in value etc. and asked what he was going to do about the situation.

When they all had their say he just opened the case and took out a bunch of bananas.
He gave them one each.
Then turning round to face them he said.

"Well now are all monkeys"

Then he stood up and walked out.

The guy in question would do this kind of thing. I saw him coming out of the high court with his plastic lunch box. If you go into the high court it is costing e10,000 a day at least, so you had better save a few bob by bringing your own lunch.
They say if you owe the bank a small amount of money you have a problem, but if you owe them millions they have the problem.

Yesterday I had a run to the airport from a lady who informed me that she may require an emergency stop. She had food poisoning and had been up all night.
Nice to have the warning, but she managed to go all the way without mishap.

Remember when I got sick a few weeks ago?
The Chinese restaurant where I had the meal is still closed,
If you look back in the blog you can see the photo of the state of the toilets which tells you a lot.
Sticky menus and dirty tables should have given me enough clues.
I will be a bit wiser in future no more e8 lunches for me !

I am busy with my garage, my new neighbor wants to build an extension which involves knocking down my garage and putting in a better foundation.
The advantage for me is that I will have a good wall already built if I decide to extend at some time in the future.
The problem is emptying the garage!!!!!
I keep everything, broken chairs, locks without keys, keys without locks,screws, plugs washers etc,etc.
The builder sent me 2 guys from Transalvania to help me.
First the language lesson.
Skip and Shed(storage container)
I had to watch them all the time.
I paused to show them a mascot for a car, a brass pixie with a pointed hat.
They looked at it and threw it into the ship. Well a few well chosen words had them into the skip to find it.” What kind of a place do you come from?
Did you never hear of the antiques roadshow?”
The reply was “Shed”
Later on in the day I climbed up on a ladder to take down a box when a big spider fell onto my shoulder.
It was around ½ the size of a mouse, wow did that make the boys jump! I didn't see it, but they knocked it off my coat before it had me by the throat.
I didn't know those guys could move so fast.

We were finishing off for the day when one of the lads came in a bit excited, a lady had stepped off the bus and left her handbag behind her.
I jumped into the taxi and caught up with her as she had walked on down the road.
She had 2 kids with her and no English, I managed to get her into the car and dashed off to the terminus where there was 3 buses waiting, no bag.

Then after another 5 minutes her bus came along and the driver had the bag.

Much great joy and on the way home she told me she was Swedish her son was working in Dublin.
Her grandchildren had the fairest blond hair I ever saw almost white.
There was a bit of a fight when I got her home as she tried to press money on me..
“No! No! buy a present for the kids”

Now I have extra brownie points stored up for a rainy day..

Monday, November 17, 2008

1850 60 90 90

Thats the number of the samaritans here in Ireland.
Put it on you phone memory now.
2 weeks ago I met an old friend in our local supermarket.We shook hands and talked for a while. He had just retired and had bought a taxi.
My heart skipped a beat, Sean that was an awful mistake.
So I called around to his apartment with the taxi drivers handbook a present for his 60th birthday which was coming in a few days.
During my visit he told me that he had had a nervous breakdown and had just come out of hospital,for those not in the know depression comes in many forms,the lows are like influenza you are really not well at all.

He was glad of the visit but he wanted to lie down, so I promised to call back when he was an older wiser man. I called back to the apartment as his phone did not answer.
I had a didget wrong in the number and I corrected that.
On Tuesday I dropped in a few taxi driver magazenes in his post box, but still got no reply from the doorbell.

Well to cut a long story short they found his body on Friday evening and he was buried today.

A great person who will be sadly missed by many.

I do not attribute his death directly to buying the taxi but there many drivers who are at the end of their patience as I write.

Please please ring the Samaritans or speak to your doctor if you are depressed.

The pain your death inflicts on the ones you leave behind is so severe that it can not be measured.

It is a constant pain that the regulators office governs our trade through comities and public relations companies while the quality of the service to the public gets worse by the day, she is wasting vast amounts of money with useless surveys.
Guinness never asked me if it would be OK to stick 10c on the pint,mu local garage man ditto. Yet the regulator WAISTED thousands of Euro asking the public if the thought it might be a good idea.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rugby weekend

A detail from the Bank of Ireland.
British lions wearing crowns are on many buildings here in Dublin.

On the 11th hour 11th day of the 11th month 90 years ago the guns fell silent as WW1 ended. Sad part was that many Irish were not remembered for many years as they were seen as traitors who fought for the British.The only other option for many was to starve at home as there was no work here.

Have a read of "Strumpet City" by James Plunkett.

Garden of remembrance at Islandbridge.

Well it was very nice to see so many people coming forward to encourage me to continue.
It takes time and I felt like no one was reading it.

When I was at the Eastbourne magic convention Juan Tamariz that star of Spanish magic told us that he was trained as a film director, the problem he had was that you made a movie,then it was cut and edited while you were working on your next project. By the time people saw it you had almost forgotten about it. He needed to have feedback instantly...he really gets that with his brand of magic..Look for him on you tube.

So if you get no feedback on a blog you thing there is no one there.

Friday night! what a night. A rugby weekend.

I was off to bed for a sleep when a neighbor called to bring his wife to the lady golf captains dinner in Forrest Little out near Swords, at the appointed time I headed off to the dinner collecting 3 other ladies en route, e45 fare "Keep the e50" plus come and collect us again please.
When I collected them the lady captains were doing a Mamma MIa routene and having a hoot

camera fones are crap
On the way back into town the first time I got a lift in Santry down to the docks, off to see football in England he was.
Back home for my dinner after that I just kept hitting the ball on that sweet spot all night long.
Unlike most times on the open road I harldy put a foot wrong.
I even set a new record for a single taxi fare.
Just a few miles outside Wicklow town e88.
I had a nasty moment where it seemed that I was not going to get paid, but with all their pockets turned inside out and her handbag emptied out We nearly made it.
Then I found e10 on the back seat when I got back in.
So it was happy days as I drove back to Dublin.

I got a bit of a jolt as we waited for her boyfriend to come back out of the house with the money.
She had been having oral sex with him on the back seat and had not been exactly holding back..then she said "I hope he dosen't think I am a bit of a slapper"

Not at all says I, why would he think that?.

"His friends have loads of money" she said as she went in and them with not 20c left between them
They did not know each other 4 hours ago judging by their conversation thats for sure.

I got a few more fares and went down to see the boats coming in.
Around 6 am 3 Roll On ferries dock at the same time and they spew out 6 miles of trucks, its a sight to see as everyone shoots down the dock roads.

My passenger came from London a Romanian whose wife is living in Portmarnock he comes over from London by ferrry where he now works in construction. He had to go when work collapsed here.
Over here every weekend then back to London on Sunday night. I was so tired at that point that I forgot to give her a e10 note which I was holding in my hand, by luck she checked her change..I really would have felt bad if I had noticed it later,for some people things are great,others are living on the margins of society, just managing to hold on nothing more.
This couple are paying 2 rents and spending every weekend going form London to Dublin.
Life I hope will only get better for them.

Just as I was making my now very weary way home A girl from Latvia stopped me for directions to the Malahide Rd. I was so whacked I nearly couldn't think where it was, then I remembered so I said its just down here jump in.
I have no money for taxi.
You don't need it I have had a good night so I brought her to the Statoil garage, she thanked me and insisted that I gave her my number, even though I said that I worked very odd hours.
No I would like to give you my business, you are a good man.
A nice thought.

I just went on 400 meters when I was flagged down by a group who asked me to take a Polish girl into the IFSC. She was so happy,from Gdansk,she had worked here for Lufthansa in a call center for 3 years, she has gone back to Poland and now was back on a visit.

All my memories of Ireland are happy ones she said. I made so many friends and had such a great time.

Once we got to the IFSC she told me to bring her to the airport, so I listened to her happy stories all the way there. I would have loved to have gone with her,her joy was like electricity.

I know I got another 5 or 6 jobs just then but the memories are just a blur.
One other fare tonight which sticks out is a girl who does legal publishing.
Better not have any misprints there said I.
Our most famous one was Pubic instead of Public" Everyone saw it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The final curtain ?

The formal garden at the gallery of modern art Killmainham.
The new offices of steel and glass rise up.

A church in Jones Rd, a listed building which was allmost demolished by a developer

Adamstown a new town recently built. Notice the sat nav showing open fields.

First and last fares were memorable in a different way.
First one was a tall lady who got in and asked me to take her to her car, she directed me the long way round back to her car and with almost e10 on the meter we arrived.
As we were going there she told me that she had taken a walk with her friends and as she was going back to her car alone a man started to follow her driving a car, if she walked slower he did the same, so she crossed over the road and then he drove away.
She was a bit shaken. She could not remember any details of the car or the driver.
Then she told me to follow her to the bank as she had no cash and her bank link card is in the car.
So then we drove to the bank in our cars, she then said that she didn't have the card but would I come to her house for the money.
Time is money so I just gave her my address and told her to drop it in the mailbox.

The money has not arrived as I write.

A bit strange!

The last one was from Heuston train station where I could not get on to the queue without blocking the traffic, so I headed up the quays where I picked up a young Chinese couple with a baby, she was well turned out he had jeans and jacket on, we are going to..... say the street again.... no what is the name of the place??
Do you mean the marriage registry office?

Yes!! Are you getting married ? Yes we are. Today? Yes.

That is the second time I have driven a bride and groom together there.
No parents or relations,just friends

I am sure they will have big celebrations when they get back to China.
Their whole lives in front of them.

I wish them well.

Well after all this time I have decided to hang up my keyboard and give the blog a rest.

There are so few comments lately that I must accept that very few people are taking a real interest in it.

Anyhow it takes up a lot of time. Time which I don't have to spare.

I wish you all well in your travels, I will stop by at another time when I am feeling up to the mark again.

I hope some of you enjoyed my slice of life while driving a taxi in Dublin.

If you need to contact me send the e mail to dublin2taxi@yahoo.com

Perhaps I could slot in a regular column in your magazine or newspaper!
I can do radio slots, or answer the odd question or 2.
All for cash.

Until we meet again Merry Christmas and a happy 2009.

Here is my party piece. Yes I can hit the high note.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas tree

Our new Christmas tree. I was told it came from France it cost e350,000,but it can be used again.
The old tree used to be a gift from the people of Norway(free)and it was chopped up afterwards so there would be no storage charges either.

On Sunday I ventured out and saw the new Christmas tree.
They closed one side of O'Connell St to erect a platform so that the lord mayor of Dublin could turn on the lights.
She decided in her wisdom that Christmas would start early this year to help the stores through this difficult trading time.
Pardon me Mam but if you are broke you could start the shopping spree anytime, if you have no dough you can't make bread.

But the tree is very nice it changes color Green Red White and Blue it is quite something.

Note to myself if they plan to do that next year. Come down into O'Connell St from Parnell Sq. then on to the rank on O'Commell St where the masses were waiting for buses which could not come down the street.

Some of the guys made a packet, Sackville place was hopping too.

Wow we have a new record for a single drugs haul in Ireland. This time its 1.87 tonnes of cocaine, looks like someone is not going to have a white Christmas after all.
The value they reckon is around e500 million. that is a lot of money if you want to see more look here
You know that's only $207 so that haul would be worth more than twice that amount.

It has started people talking about how badly our seas are patrolled.
This was a tip off from Interpol, how much is getting through?

I spoke to a guy from customs and excise on Sunday about the sniffer dog I saw in action at the port. The dog needs a lot of exercise and his handler brought him up to the Dublin mountains and let him off for a run, as luck would have it the dog caught the scent of a hare and took off, the dog was missing for 2 days with army and the police helicopter looking for the dog, they found it in the end and the handler nearly died of shame, the dog has a tracker device now in case he decides to head for new ground again.

I had a rotten week I caught this cold thing that's going, swollen glands coughing sneezing, couldn't work and I hate sitting around. Still I caught up on Columbo on the TV. You can get too much TV, it bores me silly after a few days.

But as we say "Needs must when the devil drives"
IE. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, no use fighting it.
Had a lucky day today had people jump in just as the other person was getting out three times.
Got a run to the airport and as they were getting a lady hopped in, she had to be on the Cork bus at 6 PM it was then 5.30 could I make it?
25 Min's via the port tunnel.(yes she gave me the Euro change from the fare)

I must get back into the swing of things as there are so many taxis now I need to work out a plan to find more work.

On the rank at Heuston I saw a 08 BMW 520d. One of the guys told me that the car alone would cost over e80,000 though I think it would cost a lot more.
Could be a tax dodge, I don't know.

Perhaps he believed all about the millionaire taxi drivers.
The reality must be a shock to his system.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I must add my voice to the millions who congratulate Barack Obama on his great feat on being elected president of the USA.

This is a giant step for mankind and I hope that he will gather a good team around him to advise and lead us all out of the mess we are in.

This is such an important moment in history, I wish him and his country well.

I feel that he is in touch with the pain of the workers and the oppressed.

Perhaps he will do something about the undocumented people (including the Irish) who are scattered through every city in the USA.

A new day has come.

Well done.

God bless Barack Obama

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Weird moment

This photo is of a Dutch style house which is on Kevin St, the spire of St Patricks Cathedral is in the background.

Monument for the hunger strikers on the roadside outside Armagh.
New film out called Hunger which explains it if you don't know.

Sorry if these photos are repeated, I must get out more and all my Drougheda photos did not take on the computer.

Well after Saturday night my finances have recovered somewhat.
It was very busy and the new taxi fares kicked in at midnight, I don't know what all the fuss is about its 80c rise on a e10 fare, that's nothing.
The costumes were fantastic but it was cold and heavy rain showers all night.
People were mostly good natured, got in paid when they got home and got out.

One guy in particular still has me perplexed, he was on his own but looked sober and was going to Reubin st in Rialto. Conversation was normal until we stopped.
The street is a very narrow road and when I stopped the meter he turned sideways in the seat and faced me and said that there was a very important march taking place in Northern Ireland tomorrow,the British army who had killed thousands of Irish people were going to march through the streets in a procession to celebrate their success in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You knew I was from Antrim why did you not talk to me about that instead of all the other things you spoke about.

This guy was squaring up for violent conflict with me, I never discuss politics, religion or sport I said. If you feel offended by this march I suggest you take the train to Belfast tomorrow to protest.
As luck would have it another taxi wanted past us just then and I was blocking the road so I just said a few words to him in Irish,which threw him for an instant and took him out of the trance he was in.

He paid me and I said thanks and sleep well in Irish and off he went.

It throws up more questions than I can handle.
How disturbed was he ?
Had he a gun or a knife?
He struck me as a guy who would be a wife beater,he was very disturbed.
(You would have to be in the situation to know what I mean)

The guy needs help that's for sure..Note to myself I must buy a gun.

It was a scary moment perhaps because nothing happened
But the situation had a lot of potential for big trouble.

You can never tell thats for sure, still its never boring driving a taxi.

Last week after my visit to Drougheda I started work on Wednesday morning.
The bus passes my house and I am near the start of its route, so when the bus was going past I rushed to the car, backed out and overtook it at the bottom of the road.
Straight down the bus lane with people waiting at the bus stops, people were looking for taxis, but strange to say none waved me down.
They did wave at the other taxis in front and behind me. The old brain was in a stew when I passed the fire station at Annsley bridge.

Then the penny dropped, my taxi roof sign was in the boot!!!
I had taken it off to reduce wind resistance on the long trip.
The taxi signs are just held in place by magnets.

We have an expression here in Ireland.
"If you had brains you would be dangerous"

I felt a right twit for sure.

One other thing I noticed though.
A taxi stopped and the driver asked me for a hotel which is in Smithfield, he didn't know where that was and he didn't know any of the streets by name so he could not take directions either.
Then it dawned on me that he was a taxi driver from miles outside the city who had come up to take out work for the night. It is very hard on the tourist who was in the taxi, being driven around in circles, meter clicking away.

Next time this happens I will ask his passenger to get into my car if there is an empty seat and I will drop her home if my passengers are near their destination and I will do it free too..the quality of service is in free fall.

Every area used to have their own district marked on their roof sign so you couldn't go to another area you didn't know and work there.

I wish we had a regulator instead of a publisher!
The amount of junk we get through the post from her.