Friday 1 June 2007


Cabbies in London definitely have a reputation. Some good - most not so much. We're talking black cab drivers here... 'Hackney Carriages' as they are officially. The licensed Cabbies - the ones who take "The Knowledge". The Knowledge is cool - basically Cabbies are pretty much required to know EVERY street in London... and the best way from anywhere to anywhere. This makes them the choice way from A to B. It's the best way to get around after dark if you're a girl, that's for sure!

So. Last night, it was half past nine by the time I left the office... and past ten by the time I got to North Greenwich. Sod that, I thought. I'll get a Cab home. For the first time ever the Cab rank was empty. One was just leaving with a fare. Bummed. So I stood and waited. Another girl turned up... we made small talk. A cab arrived and I got in. Whereupon the Cabbie apologised for my wait (ah, bless). We trundled off and took the route which goes via the level crossing rather than through the bus lane (which I'm never convinced that they are allowed to do anyway). We got to the level crossing and the barrier was down. So we waited. For about 40p on the fare. Where upon the Cabbie switched off the meter! I always feel a bit embarrassed sitting here clocking up an extra £3, he told me. Eventually the gates went up and off we went. You should put the meter back on, I reminded him. But he didn't . So when we got to our destination (home at last) I actually gave him a tip... after all, he had saved me a few quid!