The more observant amongst you, or those friends that I have bored on the subject, will have seen over there —> on the right that I Twitter. If you so wish you can follow my every move, particularly on a Friday when I try and tweet every job I do in the cab. Some of you won’t have heard of Twitter, others will view it with suspicion, others still will describe it as a narcissists charter (stand up Mash). But I think it’s great, I follow people that I’m interested in (I can get cricket & football updates through it) and some people find it worthwhile following me. All in all, you can set up your own network of contacts that you control and that sometimes take you to places you didn’t know you wanted to be. My best example is when I followed Dave Hill (Guardian journo type bloke), who then followed me and took the time to look at my blog (which you can link to on your profile). It just so happened that he’d been talking about the recent Taxi demo on his Guardian blog and linked to my site as an example of a “reasonable” cabbie (!!). So,through the power of Twitter, I’d got a mention on The Guardian website without even trying. Nice. There may even come a time (if enough cabbies start using Twitter) that you can find yourself a cab home through it.
But my purpose today isn’t to try and convert you all to the joys of Twitter, I’m no twitvangelist. But one of the things I also do with Twitter is, through TweetDeck (a 3rd party application), search all Tweets for mentions of the cab trade. 50% of what it turns up is waffle about Black Cab Sessions, but amongst the rest is an interesting view of peoples use of, and views about, taxis. I have gathered together a few of my favorite tweets that hopefully cover the full range of views; the good, bad & ugly if you like, and added some editor’s notes where appropriate.
@asbjornu According to @lmaroen, riding a taxi through the city of Rome is like driving a formula 1 car through a museum.
@alex_christian Nothing beats small talk with a cabbie.. “trust no one, my friend”
@markstanley – London taxi driver stopped at lights chatting to cyclist. How refreshingly nice! (depends on your definition of ‘chat’ I suppose)
@damoncb – Damon is driving thru London in a black cab with two male belly dance strippers, stopping sometime for a familly visit. (I don’t know where to begin with this, ‘male belly dance strippers’??)
@jkelsbie Had the friendliest black-cab driver last night. Sat in his cab chatting about running for an hour… then realised it was 2am! O dear. (I hope he kept the meter running – an hour?)
@shaneybhoy – Sitting in the back of a Black Cab with a right Geezer of a driver! (we’re all geezers Shaney, know what I mean?)
@randalls – I saw a taxi driver pulled over to the side of the road, practicing his golf swing (better than practising whilst in the cab)
@blackcabbie – Why get in a black cab and tell me how much he will pay for he’s journey. What we got meters for . We are not mini cabs!! Nutter! (another cab driver tells it how it is)
@hellotim – London taxi drivers don’t usually have speaking sat navs, do they? I suspect I may be in a non-legitimate vehicle. (er, Tim – hello! This is 2009, most cab drivers have SatNav of some description)
@jasminemoy – My cab driver is making all sorts of kissy/sucky noises. It’s grossing me out. (me too)
@deandonaldson – Ah the inverted tardis that is the New York taxi – big on outside and nothing inside, Reminds me of redneck in Florida Batman saved us from! (Batman? WTF?)
@killer_weed my cabbie agrees that 8 years ago it was a great time. “now it’s just the same assholes over and over, every night.” feel ya’, brotha.
@neotoxic In a taxi, lady driver wants 2go back2 her house as her daughter is locked out. Asked if I was in a rush I said yes We seem 2b going anyway. (I’d be getting out of that pretty pronto)
@banana31 – It’s awesome when your cabbie, who is driving like an idiot, calls another cabbie an idiot. (and no doubt the cab driver was 100% correct)
@lukeregan – Wondering what the ‘extras’ bit on London taxi receipts refers to. (Luke, how can I break this to you? It’s for extras.)
@overyourhead – Got a black cab in the end. Frustratingly it took us round the houses. And he pretended it was road works that were to blame. Grrr. (of course he did, he couldn’t possibly know the roads better than you, could he?)
@DanSpring – London taxi fares to rise by 3.4% http://tinyurl.com/cadqnw” Complete joke – ‘that’s £50 please’ – ‘but we’ve only gone 2mins up the road’ (yawn)
And last but not least, my favorite. Apologies to Grandma Cabbie and anyone else who might be offended but these aren’t my words;
@neilinglis – Taxi driver home last night used the word ‘cunt’ 17 times. I was equally impressed and offended.
Thanks to all the tweeters, keep up the good work – I’ll be lurking around reading what you tweet.