Day Cabbie

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

When a lawyer makes your day

This wasn't the first time that a surprisingly humorous 30-something male lawyer has made my day via a really enjoyable conversation.

Today's specimen flagged me down at Castro and Market. He asked me if 2180 Montgomery was an address. I said that Montgomery was a street but that its numbers only went up to about 900. He called somebody and asked them to get back to him about where he was supposed to be going for "the deposition". Then he hung up.

"So you don't know where you're going--"

"180 Montgomery. Let's try that."


"I went all the way over here to Market and Castro because I thought the meeting was supposed to be here. And now I have to go all the way back. Isn't that annoying?"

"I don't know. I think it's kind of nice. You get to take a break."

"That's an interesting way of looking at things."

"Even if you don't get to do anything fun, at least you get to take a break from sitting at a desk or pushing papers or whatever else you do. I mean, I'm sure you do lots of other things than that..."

He nodded. Then he said "Well, mostly I do a lot of sitting at a desk, and pushing papers, and pulling papers." When he said the p's of the pushing and pulling, he pursed his lips as if he was doing a comedy routine. It made me laugh.

Then he said "I hope 180 Montgomery is right. If not, I might have to have you turn around and take me somewhere else."

"That's okay. I've got nothing better to do."

"Okay. That's an interesting way of looking at things."

"Well, I'm here to drive people around. So I'll take you wherever you want to go." He seemed very pleased with this.

After a while he asked me the dreaded question.

"So where are you from?"

"Germany." I looked at him in the rear view mirror and braced myself for the follow-up questions and anecdotes. Where in Germany? How long have you been here? I've been to Heidelberg. My uncle has been to Munich.

But he didn't give me any such bullshit. Maybe it's because he is Jewish, but all he did was give me one of those lips-pressed-together-tightly smile and an attempted approving nod. I wanted to hug him.

He did end up having a Germany conversation follow-up a few minutes later though: "Merkel. That's who is in charge there right now, right?"

"Yes," I laughed. I can deal with a Merkel comment. I hadn't gotten that one before. I like it when people surprise me.

I asked him where he was from. He said New York, New York. I told him that I had always been jealous of people who grew up in big cities. I felt like they had more street smarts, knew more about how the world works, had some kind of advantage over me.

"Yeah, but look at you now. Footloose and carefree in San Francisco." That made me laugh again.

I dropped him off at Montgomery and Bush and was sad that our conversation had to end. I think mostly what I liked about him was his ability to make me feel special. Saying "That's an interesting way of looking at things" twice will do that.


At 12/11/2007 02:16:00 AM, Blogger Paradise Driver said...

You have such interesting fares.

At 12/11/2007 09:33:00 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/11/2007 09:34:00 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

I read your blog off and on (I see your pics occasionally in the WR group on Flickr) and I have to admit that I'd ask you about the Germany thing too were I hop into your cab. But then, I'd probably hear your accent, ask you right off the bat if you were German, and then at least say a friendly hello in German. I *have* been to Heidelberg, but then I lived there too. I was born in Landstuhl and left Germany years ago. I'm ashamed to admit that my German is painfully rusty but I'd think I'd enjoy a conversation with you about our homeland. :) I miss it.


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