Saturday, July 29, 2006

Provincial cab conundrum

Three weeks ago today my wife and I had our first ride for yonks in a black London taximeter cab. Actually it wasn’t black because it was advertising something that required another colour for a background. But it was the correct shape and we sat in the back; as you do. On our way to my godson’s wedding, since you ask, and rather overdressed, we felt, for a ride on the RV1 bus.

I saw such a cab coming down our road today as I wandered back from the butcher’s and baker’s (there is, no longer, a candlestick maker to visit at the Bath Road shops). It is one of only a handful of such vehicles in our little town and it made me think of the dilemma facing users of the more usual type of provincial taxi. These are ordinary saloon cars, often old and quite big. The traditional Zodiac may have been replaced by a Galaxy or some such but the problem for the lone traveller still remains.

We’ve lived in Gloucestershire for eighteen years and it’s nearly a quarter-of-a-century since we moved out of central London (if St John’s Wood can be so designated). But still the problem remains, do you sit in the front next to the driver or in the back in solitary splendour?


At 10:17, Blogger Aunty Marianne said...

Solitary splendor, unless you know the driver personally and want a chat, which is often the case with rural taxi drivers.

Ours, for example, is called Rod the Bus. Don't ask.

At 11:35, Blogger Hughes Views said...

I think your etiquette is correct in England but I got a very strange look when attempting to do likewise in Scotland. Getting in the front seat north of the border is a good strategy as the North British drivers tend to be chattier (and more interesting) that their southern counterparts in my experience (I don’t recall ever being in a taxi in Wales). Of course London cab drivers are notoriously chatty but they seem to be able to drive whilst facing the passengers in the back of the vehicle. Perhaps it’s something to do with having brains like squirrels' and always knowing where one's put one's nuts......


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