Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are YOU Talking To ME?

Taxi Driver: What is your final destination?
E@L: Sorry?
Taxi Driver: Where you want end up?
E@L: Huh? Harbourfront Centre. Not Vivo - Harbourfront.
Taxi Driver: Sure, OK...


Taxi Driver: How are you this morning, Mr Fare?
E@L: World-weary, cynical and misanthropic, not that you really care.
Taxi Driver (Nods. He really doesn't care.): Where are you from?
E@L: Geelong.
Taxi Driver: Jurong?
E@L: Australia
Taxi Driver : Ah, you not so far from home then.
E@L: No, not all, I suppose.
Taxi Driver : Australia, not so far to go…

The driver must have been looking in the mirror or whistfully dreaming of some empty imagined Outback vastness with Nicole Kidman raising an arm against the harsh sunlight and Hugh Jackman slapping the red-ochre dust out of his chaps with his Akubra, because when he turns his attention back forward there is an extremely harsh red traffic light unexpectedly ahead and a lane of stationary cars right in front! He brakes hard, throwing E@L forward in the seat, swerves the car into the lane on the right (which fortunately is free), tossing E@L to the left towards the door, and manages to pull up to a halt just before the pedestrian crossing. E@L's eyes were shut initially (ping, wide open!) so he didn't have a concept of their initial speed, but the force with which he was tossed forward as they decelerated told him that they were coming down from pretty much sub-light velocity.

E@L: ...


Swear to Darwin, I put the responsibility for my entire transportation requirements into the hands of all of these strangers.


Taxi-drivers, bus-drivers, train-drivers, tram conductors, hot-air balloon operators, colleagues, colleagues in other countries, the drivers of colleagues in other countries, tuk-tuk drivers, pedi-cab or tricycle-taxi peddlers, and such a range of variously qualified pilots in some whacko countries with awful safety records.

I have to trust them. I have to.

And near misses. So many near misses. And I don't just mean being in the last plane to land at Schipol before it was closed (20mins from London - a record) and bumping down on one wheel at a 45degrees angle, or having to abort a landing as there was another plane on the runaway, I mean real FATE stuff, too.

I was once offered a job that would have involved flying to and around Fiji, to give basic ultrasound training on the islands. I was going to be doing a 50/50 share on the training schedule with my potential boss. Sadly, I turned down that lucrative (not financially!) job to take the one in HK that lead to this one.

My potential boss from that first job... you guessed it. He died in a plane crash in Fiji.

Sigh. Not that I believe in that Fate and Karma crap.



Momentary Madness said...

E@L, well there you go, that's the state of things today offering/asking you flying to and around Fiji, and my guess is you've never ever flown a plane before.
I wonder did your potential boss have a flying permit.
;-) ;-) ;-)
Ah, sure you have ti sayin' somethin'.
(or may I should just shut up)

expat@large said...

MM: well, the Fiji junket was as a PASSENGER, not as the pilot LOL! Things are a bit more regulated in the vast blue windswept Pacific Islands than they are in the USA about those sort of things.

expat@large said...

And another plane crashes in Indonesia...

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell, reminds me of this stupid cab that braked suddenly in front of me yesterday. I had to slam on my brakes and I could see the passenger in the cab being tossed sideways. Not sure what caused the driver to brake suddenly-- maybe he had a cramp on his leg or something.

expat@large said...

Coulda been me! Nearly freakin' whiplash. Had my seat-belt on though, using the Princess Di rule. [The only person to survive the Di & Dodi crash as wearing a seatbelt.]

Unknown said...

Not that I believe in that Fate and Karma crap.And yet here you are. And glad we are for it!

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