Tuesday, June 25, 2019

First prize Norway

A really super vintage car at MSL motors in Ballsbridge

Cruise ships are arriving in Dublin again

Norway           265

United States
United Kingdom

The other day I looked at the stat counter and Norway once again came first place
More than the USA ?
This often happens in winter as the nights in Norway are long.

So the yearly renewing of the taxi licence has come arrived.

Get your papers together John !

Not as easy as it seems, I am looking everywhere I hope I will be ready.
Perhaps I will buy a motorised rickshaw instead.
No liscence, no insurance, no meter, no tax. No joke!

But next year my son may be taking over the taxi, he is studying the knowledge, he is studying online through the MyTaxi online tutorial.
I was telling a customer about it and he told me that they got a taxi one night and the driver was going around in cyrcles, when they were passing the same landmark for the third time they asked the driver to stop.
They gave him the choice of letting them out there and then or they would call the police.
They had come from Cork to attend a function, he had not one clue wher he was or where he was going.
I checked with them and they said that they did not pay him,

God to think how little the streets are policed.
Unfortunately a foreign guy raped 3 women at Christmas.
This happens when you decide to take shortcuts.

In Spain you have to have lived there for 5 years, be able to speak Spanish, hold a full Spanish driving liscence ie. have completed a Spanish driving test.
All that before you sit your PSV test in Spain.

My son is having problems learning the ropes and he has lived here all his life.
I went into Easons our biggest bookstore for city maps.
"No we have cleared off all the travel maps to make room for the school books."
The schools will not be back for 6 weeks.

If you need city maps you can go to the office of the Ordinance survey in the Pheonix Park.
I went to Amazin.

Its not all foreign drivers tht cause the problems, I know a good few Irish drivers who have the motto

"I go that extra mile"

Here is the mother of all taxi tests.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cruise ships are back

A stork takes abreak before his next delivery

Free Beer! Read the small print

DO you need a lift? Plenty of cranes in Dublin port

Every so often I see something and you have to scratch your head and say.
"Well I've seen it all now" and then a short time later you see something which makes you say it again.
A huge cruise ship came into Dublin port. These ships can hold 3,000 people.
SOS Taxis needed!
So I did 3 runs and when I was heading back for job nr.4 3 people stopped me.
"Please help us. We ordered 2 cabs and the man told us to stand here and we hav been standing here for 2 hours" The three of them were all over 70 years old, So I loaded them up.
As I drove past the guy from the port in charge of taxis he started to shout abuse at me.
I had not joined the queue and brought the people he wanted me to bring, so he was annoyed.
A little further another port employee stopped me.
"He wants to talk to you"
I just said that I would not be shouted at like that as I am not a dog and drove out of the port.
The couple were Isreali so I told them of a their wonderful singer who had a voice from God
Ofra Haza. Then we spoke of her sad death from aids.
"Her husband gave aids the bastard" Said the Isreali man
So we drove to their hotels.
The woman who was on her own said that her grandfather was Jewish but the faith passes on through the blood ie. your mother has to be Jewish for you to be Jewish.
I knew all this as my wife once taught the Jewish children in Broomfield Ave national school for a while.

First call was the hotel near Google the Royal canal hotel.
How much?
The couple paid what was on the meter to the other woman so that she could pay everything at the end of the journey.
So we arrived at the Arlington hotel.
"Now we have to work out the fair?"She said.!
I was surprised.
"Yes indeed. What length of the journey did they take me out of my way?"
I am still surprised as I had rescued her and now she had this strrange attitude.
"From the ship to their hotel they paid for all the journey, for your part of that journey as well.
All I am asking you to pay for the final leg."
Then she loostned her purse and paid me. NO TIP.
The Jewish couple slipped a couple had slipped a couple of euro into my hand and they did thank me 2 or 3 times.
I think in the taxi regulations state that each person who share a taxi pays the full fair, though I have never pushed that.
Hundreds of people were waiting to be evacuated from the ship.
Mostly airport jobe €20 a pop. But I had had enough.
But the airport is another story they can have hundreds of people waiting and the guys that are in charge of the queueing system do not call up the cars in time. 600 cars waiting to come up and 200 passengers waiting for taxis.
When I started driving an airport permit costed £10 per year. You paid 70p as you entered the holding area and you agged on an airport pick up caharge of £1.50 plus an allowance for each bag carried.
Now an airport pass costs €440 every year and no airport pick up fee and no baggage allowance.

The port queueing system should be looked at 5 or 6 buses taking people to the airport for €5 a pop and a few other buses going to the stations.

Philomena Lynott was buried the other day.
She was the mother of Phil Lynott the rock star.
If you ever met her you would never forget her.
She was in my taxi twice, the second time for free.
I told her that my 13 year old son had gone wild  and without missing a beat she gave me her phone number, a few days later she gave David an hour of her time. I think it helped him.
She used to go to prisons to talk to young offenders.
Later on she visited local hospaces to cheer up the old people.She was a star
She was over in England to visit her son and he overdosed on heroin.
There was panic and she rang a local doctor who thought he had a chill.
If she had rung one of his friends they would have directed her to the correct doctor who would have known what to do.
I bet she gave Philo a good kick on the arse when she met him again.

Now for the voice of an angel Ofra Haza

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The man who gave and gave

The history of MSL motors, the guy in the middle once dragged me into the garage to get a good photo of a vintage car.

News on the street is that it is very cold

A Citroen 2CV
About the top photo, Stephen the founder of the MSL became the richest man in Ireland.

 Years ago I bought a 2CV van after its first service it was hard to start.
I went back twice but all they said was "There all like that"
Not much help.
I asked around and found a Lebanese air frame mechanic who worked at the airport.
I phoned him and he told me to buy points and  spark plugs and to come to his house in Stepaside on Saturday morning. I arrived and he held up his bandaged hand.
He had cut a sinew on the back of his hand and could not work for 6 weeks.
I was disappointed and turned to go.
Then I had a flash of insperation and went back.
I became his hands and he coached me through the service.
He was happy for the company and told me all the little things that there was to know about the car.
It is a 2 cylinder air cooled engine.
When I took out a spark plug he jumped off his chair. Who put that plug in? I said the garage.
That is a short reach plug. You should only use Champion L87Y a long reach plug.
For the next 10 years she ran like a Swiss watch.
Another thing is that it takes a very special brake fluid, never mix it with a different type.

Every week I say a prayer for a passenger who got into my taxi 16 or more years ago.
Last night I wrote a letter to him as his Dublin office is closed down, mission complete.
Before the office closed I used email to stay in touch.
I would hate for him to die and not know how much he affected my life in a positive way.
Now I asked a mutual friend of his to pass on my letter.

If you know me I am talking about Chuck Feeney the man who made and gave away $8 billion.


So for heros I aim high.

 Crime rears its ugly head here all the time.
2 Boys of 13/14 are on trial for killing and raping a 14 year old girl
A man was stabbed in O'Connell St and died
A girl was raped at a Luas stop the other day.
The gang land shootings go on

It is very hard to keep your mind on the positive.
I have told many people to listen to Robin Sharma, he is great

Ah she is playing my song

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

D day

I was distracted and was unable to post to remember D day

25 years ago we crossed over to France in the car ferry and it happened to be the 50th anniversary of D day. The kids were small and they talked to Canadian and American soldiers about that day 50 years ago.

It was no picnic for sure, when they landed they were mown down and those who survived were never the same people again.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Some rough angels

These murals are on the celling as tou enter the Costa Coffee on Dawsin St 

People pop in and out of my life every day, most are soon forgotten. But today i had a chance meeting that has stayed with me.
I got a fare to the Mater hospital and just as I dropped off a rough enough pair of lads jumped in.
Constitution Hill was the destination.
"Jesus lads give me a clue I've hit a blank"
Turns out that we were all hitting blanks all the time, directions were given and when we arrived I knew where it was.
Now this pair were no ordinary pair, one was very sick and I told the  skelaton one that I wished I could give him 4 stone of weight, then he showed me his colostimy bag and tubes hanging out of him.

They could have been brothers, but they were very close and caring of each other, there was real love there.

One thing that kills me in this job is tipping.
I really don't care if the do or don't, but the people who do are golden.

€8.20 on the meter. "Give us a €5" and they insisted on paying me €10

God bless them the sick one has very little time left on this earth.

MyTaxi the app is changing its name again.
It was Hailo now it will be known as I'm free.
Apps have changed the way we work but today the maps were not placing the people in the correct location, then the job changes itself half way through.
I could send them an email but I don't think they really care about anything but their 12% which they charge the driver.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Cars Cars and more cars

I dropped off a job on Shelbourne Rd the other day and I spotted the Mercedes car above in the window of the MSL garage. I saw a parking space and went in to have a goo.

The last time I was in that garage I was trying to take a photo of a vintage car in the showroom and I was brought in by a man.
"Are you mad! you can't take a photo through the glass.
Do you know anything about this car?
I'll get the keys"
Coming back with the keys he said 
"Any time you are passing please by come in.
Tell one of those lazey boys to get the keys.
They don't know that a person dressed like you could most likely be rich !
But we both know that you are a man of good taste."
He turned out to be Nigel O'Flaherty the founders son.
He has died since then.
A driver went in there many years ago.
His parents had died and the family home was sold and he had cash for a treat.
As he walked into the showroom a salesman walked over to him and told him to turn around and walk straight back out again as he only wante to waste their time as  he couldn't afford anything in the garage.
I have no doubt if this story had reached management the salesman would have been out the door first.

When I was going out I spoke  to a guy at the desk and asked him if he had met the other great car dealer that I met in the taxi.
Arnold Clarke (Google him)
No Never heard of him.
Starting off with £70 he bought a second hand car and refurbished it.
He sold it and with the help of his dad he went on to be the biggest car dealer in Europe with a turnover of £3 billion in the year I met him. He sold 270,000 cars that year.
Getting out at Brown Thomas I directed him to Louis Copland as I thought that BT staff were a bit aloof. "Come on Dad, we'll buy you a new coat"said his daughter
"I don't need a new coat, I have 2 coats at home"
"Dad its very cold and you didn't bring a coat"
"It looks like were buying a coat"
He turned to me and put €20 into my hand
I said that it was only €10
"John its €10 for et fare and €10 for et tip"
Off he went Sadly he died a year later.

I read a quote from him today.
"I had no choice but to go into business for myself
It was Hobsons choice
No one would give me a job."

So there you have it.
The great ones walk among us.