Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our "Ex Jordan Army" Taxi Driver

We were in San Francisco a few weeks ago on a mostly freebie trip thanks to the fact that the wifey-poo continues to subject herself to work and apparently does pretty well at it because they put us up in the Four Seasons, which is pretty good because in San Francisco it can feel like four seasons on any given day. We had 70 degree weather in the middle of February for part of it, too. I don’t attribute my Karma to that portion of the trip. I’m just thankful my karma didn’t trigger a 17.5 Earthquake that swallowed the entire city into an abyss and made Oakland the premier tourist attraction in the Bay area. Now that would have been biblical and par for me!


Our location was optimal. Instead of having to wait for two hours to pay $5 each way to ride the trolley with all the other stupid tourists, we just walked to most areas. Going straight up and down those damn hills reminded me that in the old days back in the 80s when I had far less broken bones and other accidents, I used to inline skate on these very streets…without my brakes! I’ve even gone down Lombard in them. No wonder I have so many stories; I have done so many stupid things.


One night we went clear out to the Coast and ate dinner at the Cliffside. It’s an old restaurant that is situated right against the ocean cliff. Finally, something in the world is named appropriately. I mean, we went to the birthplace of the “Summer of Love” on Haight St. A bit ironic, isn’t it? But I digress…

We took a taxi to get out to the Cliffside and it wasn’t exactly cheap because it takes awhile; there are no freeways to get you there. Our cab over arrived late and it cost us around $25. After dinner we ended up taking a cab which had shown up for another couple who seemed to have disappeared. (Don’t tell anyone I pushed them off the cliff to get a faster cab…I’m sure though the surf is cold they’ll be fine after a brief hypothermic stint. It’ll be good for their blog material later. Sheesh.)

Our cab driver proceeded to screech the tires and fly out of there as if he’s watched Steve McQueen in Bullitt too many times. And as he’s weaving around cars and taking one way streets the opposite way to save time, he’s telling us all about how he was in the Jordan Army as a fuel driver. Great. He even had a fighter jet from Israel launch a missile to destroy his tanker once. He jumped out before it hit and survived. Great. The whole time he’s driving 80mph down streets with traffic lights and zoned for 35mph he’s only half watching what he’s doing as he tells us his tale. Great.


Since we lived through the episode and he got us there with only an $18 charge, I generously tipped him. Not only did he save me money and time but we were actually injury free and had good blog material to boot! Ah, those San Francisco nights…

24 comments:

CatLadyLarew said...

Man... maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. What I really need is a wife who makes enough money to take me on fun vacations. I wonder if I could order up one that cleans, too?

Roy Scribner said...

Dude, that's my van! No, not really but we had a baby-blue version of that when I was a kid. Seat belts? What, are you kidding me?

Roy said...

A little "Streets of San Francisco" moment, eh? Who got to play Carl Malden, and who got Michael Douglas?

mama-face said...

You have so many stories cuz you've done so many stupid things...haha. My son will excel with his blog.

We just returned from Mexico and every taxi ride I closed my eyes...thus missing out on a lot of scenery. Apparently there are no rules of the road. NONE. At least they were cheap.

Your trip sounds fabulous. (do you call your wife wifey-poo in person?)

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that sounds like quite the ride! I've never been to San Francisco, but 70 degrees in the middle of February sounds great!

Mrsupole said...

Oh yeah, try driving a stick shift up those hills. I tried, I failed on one and had to put the car in park and force my brother to take over. He was not very happy about that, but he got us off the street, which was so damn steep that when I looked out the rear view mirror I could see the rear bumper. Never again will I drive on those freaking steep streets with a stick shift. It is automatic only.

And guess what I actually fell asleep early and slept for 5 whole hours. I am gonna go check in the mirror to see if any of the bags under my eyes have disappeared.

Plus what is wrong with driving in Mexico, just keep one hand on the horn and the other out the window ready to flip everyone off and you will drive just fine. I mean that is how I do it, well there, and when in Panama. Now that is driving.

God bless.

ReformingGeek said...

Yes, I can see you on skates, Crazy One.

I hope age and Wifey-Poo have tamed you!

Nessa said...

Always tip a cabbie if he gets you out alive.

I don't see any leprechauns.

"Oh, he occasionally takes an alcoholiday." - Oscar Wilde

Wordless Wednesday - Sláinte!

The Incredible Woody said...

I had a Jordanian co-worker. His driving just entering the parking lot was enough to persuade me to NEVER ride with him!

VE said...

Catladylarew – Hey…you were first today. Congrats. Yes…I’m spoiled by the wifey-poo…

Roy – That looks like one of those serial killer vans. Hmmm….

Roy – I played Michael but don’t tell the wifey-poo…she’d be mad at knowing she was playing Carl Malden…

Mama-face – I know all about the driving in Mexico and it’s pretty much the same in all Latin countries…and I’ve been in a lot of them. Sometimes though, they actually get around faster and safer than we do because it’s expected not to follow the rules so everyone is more aware what is going on…

Elizabeth – It was nice to have that kind of weather…

Mrsupole – I drove my VW Bug there lots of times and it was a pain, I know! Boy…sixth place today. That’s what you get for sleeping!

Reforminggeek – I’m tamer…but not tamed…

Nessa – Words to live by! Ha!

Incredible woody – I’ve been in some crazy car rides in my time and this one was right up there on the list…no wonder there’s turmoil in the Middle East!

Baino said...

I'm told the drivers in the middle east are at best eratic then most of our taxi drivers are Indians or Iraquies and I can't say they're much better. Kudos for pinching someone elses' cab,we jumped into someone elses' maxi taxi on Saturday night!

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I'm sure Karma will get even with you still.

The Silver Fox said...

I spent one of the longest days of my life in S.F. in the early 1980s. Everyone I encountered there was unfriendly. And when I read "Lombard" I was immediately reminded of an old Bill Cosby routine.

secret agent woman said...

I loved San Francisco, lived in the Bay area as a kid for a few years. And took my own kids back a few years ago. Great trip.

Gladys said...

Hey $25 bucks is cheap. I paid $150 US for a 3 block ride from my hotel to the Eifel Tower in Paris. Yep they saw me comin!

Ronda Laveen said...

I can't believe you skated Lombard. It's barely driveable, danger boy.

VE said...

Baino – That’s what they mostly are around here too…

Perpetual chocoholic – Karma stalks me…

Megan – Guess they missed out a good candidate for FUEL tank driving…

Silver fox – I’m not familiar with that routine. I saw Bill at a convention once years ago.

Secret agent woman – It’s a unique place to go…

Gladys – Yikes. That just supports my theory about foreign currency…

Ronda – On skates…I used to have no fear but then I broke my arm in five places. After a couple of incidents I gradually phased out of the skating thing. I still skate to this day but its mostly with the kids at the roller rink. They are almost faster than me now…almost.

The Silver Fox said...

I first heard Cosby's "Driving in San Francisco" routine on his late 1960s "The Best of Bill Cosby" LP. He talks about the streets themselves, saying "They go straight up, and straight down!" The whole album has been re-released in a re-mastered CD format. Worth checking out for his famous routines about Noah, Fat Albert (long before the cartoon), etc.

VE said...

silver fox - I'll have to look into that...

Chris C said...

What are the symbols printed on the pavement?

Jaime said...

you do have great stories from your travels.

Janna said...

I've never ever ridden in a taxi.
Maybe someday before I die...

(And if I get your taxi driver, maybe I can ride in a taxi AND die on the same day!)

aladdinsane12 said...

i totally did picture you going down in skates. it was glorious.

VE said...

chris c - I dunno...no filming during rush hour?

jaime - Well at least I have one thing going for me...

janna - Hey...bonus. I'll send him over...

aladdinsane12 - It always is...until something goes horribly wrong...