Thursday, 2 April 2009

Another thing to get used to

Just to finish Professor Chupacabra's excellent remark...

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose, nor can you wipe your friend on the end of a couch.

On to the next thing that has changed for me... riding in a taxi.

Seems innocuous enough, but oh the subtlety! I think the ubiquitous nature of taxis in New York City from films gives everyone the same ability to conjure up this image:

Perhaps a few of you romance nostalgia fans can even hearken back to Henry Chapin's sad love ballad

You might even chuckle to yourself remembering those zany antics of a certain NYC taxi dispatch station

or you just looked it up after seeing Jeff Conaway going mental on "Celebrity Rehab" with Dr. Drew. Also, I have NO idea where there is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper. I do agree that its creamy-vanilla-yumminess is undeniable and barely rivaled by the equally confusing named Mr Pibb. Tomfoolery abounds, but you still find the best Dr Pepper just outside of Dallas where they still use REAL Imperial Sugar and none of that saccharine substitute carcinogens! But I digress.

Regardless, nearly everyone is familiar with the word 'taxi' and what it can do for you. Get you from point A to point B and cost you one internal organ.

However, WHERE you sit in a taxi takes a major change between the USA and Germany. If for example, you hailed a taxi in New York, then attempted to sit in the front seat, you'd likely get that internal organ ripped out of you by the driver without anesthesia before you even rolled forward. It's just not done nor even considered okay to sit in the front of a taxi in the USA. I'm sure gun violence, the price of crack cocaine, how you were pottty-trained and a host of other factors influence this. But I'll leave that to the experts.

Exceptions to this rule include roaming bands of blue-haired ladies in Las Vegas that want to save on taxi fare so that they can get to the next casino filled with one-armed-bandits and spend their grandchildren's inheritance one nickel at a time.

So now go back 6 years when I first got to Cologne and hailed my first taxi...
and climbed into the BACKSEAT! The glare I received from the taxi driver while he snipped, "where to your MAJESTY?" was quite puzzling. He must have found me very pompous indeed to assume such a royal position of power and be chauffeured around while dining with my Grey Poupon. But hey, it WAS a Mercedes-Benz taxi!

And did you know that in Mexico all of the taxis are VW Beetles?

It was always a fun scene to see a taxi driver pull over, open the door, and throw the front passenger seat forwrd so his next fare could climb into the back. Maybe it's a North America thing? Any Canadians here on the site that can chime in about taxi rides up north?