Taxi Tales

It takes me about two hours to get to the hospital every morning.

I’m slowly becoming more and more comfortable with the public transport in this province, and although I never fully let my guard down, I think I’ve lost an element of the paranoia I had before that at any time I might get jumped and mugged. (I carry my otoscopy/opthalmoscopy kit, my stethoscope, my tablet and my phone everyday, along with enough cash for the four taxis I use. Let’s not even get started on how depressed I’d be if someone stole my lunch!)

So, since the drives are so long and I’m up at four every morning, I’ve taken to taking short naps en route to work. I never fall deep enough asleep that I’d be too out of it to notice my stop in time to yell “SHORT LEFT!” to the driver, so it was while I was in a state of mildly depressed consciousness that I heard cries of shock and outrage from my fellow taxi-takers. My eyes snapped open just in time to witness another taxi swerve out of our lane on the freeway without any kind of indication and ram into the side of a small car’s trailer. The car, in an attempt to avoid a more serious accident, turned sharply left–and into a concrete barricade.

There was a cloud of pale brown dust and debris as the trailer splintered and shattered. The car rebounded into our lane, but we’d already driven on so that the wreckage was behind us.

Every neck was craned in the direction of the accident, so intent on the horror that it was a surprise to hear someone else cry out an expletive.

“He’s running! That taxi driver isn’t even going to stop!”

We all whipped our heads back in the direction of the pale yellow taxi that was speeding down the freeway.

This, friends, is one of the reasons I hate taking taxis. Your life is in the hands of a total stranger who may or may not be completely sober, safe or sane. Maybe he fell asleep for a moment or maybe he was just being a daredevil. Maybe he was actually disturbed.

Maybe he’s carrying all his passengers away to a slaughterhouse.

Maybe not.

We’ll never know.

Not that any of the other cars stopped to help out, though.

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