Gnightgirl who blogs This Just In left a popular question I get asked by a lot of my clients in the taxi and sometimes in the comment section. I will answer for all the inquiring minds that want to know.
Question, then: How many of your fares really open up with you? Are they mostly all business-like, or few & far between?
Good question. I think whether or not a fare REALLY opens up to me is always depending on what happened to them in the last 5 minutes before they get in my taxi...or perhaps what my prior fare was like for me. I guess as human nature goes its 50/50 on the real conversations or just fun conversations that I have, however sometimes even if I try to engage in conversation, they are just not in the mood, or they are an itard with their ipods in their ears and not hearing me ask them exactly where to drop them off only to have them complain later. Such is life.
I try to feel it out and sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes I'll think they look tired, just got off a long flight, and just need to zone out a bit only to find when I comment on the weather or a current event it seems the conversation should have begun when they got in the taxi. NOW how are we going to catch up on all this good stuff were talking about with all that lost time?!?!? LOL...but thats what keeps it interesting, fun, and sometimes adventrous as New York is never boring, even if I'm just people watching as no one is looking for a fare. I try to always keep it fun though.
And your other comment:
"I've only been in Chicago cabs, and it's not often a cabbie "bites" when I try to chat him up. Is it "chemistry?" Or do YOu start the conversation, or do they?
First,YO how come you never been in a Noo Yawk taxi lady? Whaddya got against us ??
Seriously, though some taxi drivers I know are just plain miserable and dont want to chat or socialize, and some are on their cell phones ignoring passengers most of the time. The King doesn't use his cell when their is a client in the car, AND I love it when someone throws me the chat bait, because I ALWAYS bite, sometimes so hard I forget to turn the meter on !! I love talking to people from all over the world and all over New York, and fortunately I have the unusual job that we both have each others complete and undivided attention for the duration of the ride.
Surgeons, Lawyers, Doormen, Bartenders, Busboys, Superrich, Superpoor,Crackheads,Prostitutes, different classes, races and creeds....it makes for some brilliant conversations that I wouldn't be exposed to otherwise. The Big Apple. It certainly is, and should you ever take me up on my free ride , you'll have a hard time shutting me up about all the stories I have to tell....so I'll leave you with this bit of knowledge from a fare I had who was a mariner who sailed the world and told me that dolphins can swim and sleep at the same time (did not know that).....I told him New York City Taxi drivers are very similar as we can sleep and drive at the same time....He took a quick look through the partition to see if I was smiling, which I was, and he laughed...I may be no mariner, but I am The King Of New York Hacks. Peace.