Day Cabbie

San Francisco taxi stories from one of the very rare female drivers

Sometimes things just go wrong

By 7:30 this morning I had been driving for an hour and a half and had only had one fare. That in itself was pretty bad. That's when I was dispatched to an address on the really steep part of Kearny, above Broadway. It's a very famous block. At 29.8% incline, it's one of the steepest blocks in San Francisco.



It's so steep that you are not even allowed to drive up there. You can only climb up the steps. I left the car at the bottom of the hill. Then I walked up the steps. The address I was looking for was towards the top, on the left. Unfortunately I couldn't find it. I was looking for xx63 but all I saw was xx51 and xx75. So I walked back down the steps.

I sat in the car and talked to the dispatcher.

"DeSoto 2090 over."

"Go ahead, 2090."

"Did you say xx63 Kearny?"

"Yes, xx63."

"xx63?"

"Yes, x, x, 6, 3."

"I don't see it. I only see xx51 and xx75."

The dispatcher ignored me. He was very busy. That's when I saw a guy with two pieces of luggage hurrying down the steps, looking at me. He was definitely headed my way. I let out a sigh of relief.

"I'm running very late. I have to catch a plane at 8:30. I called a long time ago." It was now 7:46.

"I'm sorry, I couldn't find your address. I walked up there but didn't see it. I only saw xx51 and xx75."

"xx63 is in the same building as xx51. They are connected."

"Really? Argh."

"People usually wait at the top of the hill. Or they take the alley."

"Ah. I'm sorry. So what's the best way to get to the freeway from here?" I said as I pulled away from the curb.

"Take this alley." It was too late.

"Argh. Sorry."

"That's okay. Make a right on Columbus. We can turn around another way."

I made a right on Columbus. That's when my cup of Chai that I had sat on the floor of the van--and had forgotten about when the guy started talking about how much a hurry he was in--tipped over. The lid came off and the Chai spilled all over the floor of the van.

"Shit!" I said.

"Make a right on Grant."

"Okay. Shit!" I made a right on Grant.

"And now just make a right on Montgomery and take it all the way down." the guy said very calmly as I kept freaking out about the spillage. A huge puddle was growing on the floor of the van.

"Do you have any paper towels?"

"No."

"But you have that box of tissues."

I handed the guy the box of tissues. He started wiping up some of the Chai with tissues.

"Thanks."

When were were on Montgomery going towards the freeway, I started calming down. I appreciated how calm the guy was staying despite his lateness and the puddle in the van.

"That's quite the block you live on." I said.

"Yes." he said.

We were at the airport by 8:15. I never found out if he made his flight.

1 Comments:

At 11/24/2006 07:09:00 PM, Blogger willo said...

just saw this photo & thought of you. :)

 

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