… wave the hand on the road in Manhattan and taxi driver understands you need a ride. I hopped on and told him where I need to go, he would navigate on the road as if he knows every nook and corner of the city and suggest you get off at certain place instead of any deviations with so many one-ways and avoid charging you higher.
As always, my curious minds strikes a conversation to find out how they operate so well in NYC, considering the fact that is as difficult as it (may be not so much if you compared with a Mumbai traffic and taxis over there) can get to drive comfortably. He ended up sharing some facts about being a taxi driver in NYC.
He lives in Brooklyn, a Law Student (4 more years to go, So I assume he just started), took this semester off and started driving from past 3 months. I must admit, he is good at it.
He says, there is some kind of understanding between fellow taxi drivers and with the number of taxis in NYC, the accidents happen in the city are usually by Private Vehicles. The reason being, private vehicles owners do not understand the driving-language-in-nyc, when the way is given to them, when one should make a move, when to take a turn around or cut through the traffic as much as Taxi Drivers understand.
He says, even though he doesn’t like letting some one go past him, but he would give in to avoid the accidents, as there is a whole lot of process one needs to go through for a driving violation. The cops would then give a traffic violation ticket, losing the time, energy and business, speaking with auto-insurances, informing the cab agency etc etc, and he thinks it is just easy to control the impulse than end up being in this situation. Manhattan is a very well planned city, it is easy to get around and experience teaches us everything, he adds.
Although, the distance traveled was only 1.5 miles, with the traffic during peak time, it took ever but he was very entertaining and knowledgeable (oh yeah, he is a Law student after all), and then he ended up speaking about “Life in NYC” vs “Living in other places” (this topic to be covered in future post), his idea of getting a degree in law, specializations, life as a student and aspirations he have. And he also works for some firm and cab driving is his part time job. It is true that one need to do multiple jobs to pay for living here. It is quite expensive and every one has different perspective. According to him, living in Manhattan is way too expensive, congested and you will not save enough money for yourself. I could not agree more.
As the conversations drifted from one topic to another but all around New York City. It is amazing to know the perspectives from other angles. And then you think you would relate but then like everyone else you have an opinion of your own.
The most interesting fact that I appreciate about people over here is, irrespective of their education, wealth and good paying full time job, they do not hesitate to take up another job and perform with a great diligence. There are many taxi drivers in NYC who fall under this category. I hope the same attitude ignites in the minds of people who are from the same place where I originally hail from. Unfortunately, ego is associated with the kind of job you do, societal branding, and you care of what other think about you and forget the fact that others will not feed you when you are hungry. I call it – ignorance. I would have been the same if not for this exposure, and I still have that streak of attitude that shows up unconsciously.
Wouldn’t be nice if every job is considered as “work” irrespective of it’s kind and show same amount of respect towards everyone ?
(Ok, I am not speaking about people doing any “in-humane activities” as their job here..)