One thing I forgot to mention about our adventure with Rory yesterday was our cab ride that started it all.
Penn State isn’t exactly the easiest for us to get to from our apartment (6 train to E train [which never works] to Penn, or 6 train to 33rd and walking five blocks), and I didn’t want Kevin and Rory to have to wait there for us, so we decided to hop in a cab.
“Penn Station, please,” I prompted the driver when we hopped in at Lexington and 94th.
That’s when the fun began. The driver reached into the backseat and handed me a GPS system. “Can you plug it in for me, what you said?” he asked. “It’s my first day.”
Holy cow, you guys. Can you even begin to imagine how scary it would be for it to be your first day as a cab driver in Manhattan? And if this guy couldn’t even figure out how to get from the Upper East Side to Penn Station … let’s just say it was fairly obvious he hadn’t done any studying ahead of time.
So I told him we’d help him out, instead, and asked him to just head to 33rd and 7th.
First he stopped the cab mid-way in an intersection when the light changed from yellow to red, then proceeded to BACK UP, almost hitting a pedestrian (who let us know how unhappy she was with almost being hit, mind you) in the process. Then he turned left (aka East) on 33rd instead of the correct right (aka West), and proceeded to back up yet again when I told him he was going the wrong way.
To make matters worse, when we finally did make it to Penn Station, he stopped the cab and just sat there. Chris and I looked at each other. No one moved. Something was going to have to be done in order for me to pay him with a credit card.
“You have to hit a button or something so I can pay you,” I said.
After futzing around with a couple buttons, Chris and I thought we figured out how to pay with the card from the back seat, but it never went through.
“Never mind, it’s okay,” said Mr. New-Not-Very-Good-Yet-Cab-Driver. “I’m new, so this ride is on me.”
I felt terrible not paying, but there wasn’t anything we could do. I only hope that that poor cab driver didn’t go all day unable to figure out how to get the credit card machine to work.
I also hope that his other riders were as nice (and understanding!) to him as Chris and I tried to be.
So here’s to the Manhattan cab drivers who make our lives so much easier in this crazy city. It’s certainly not an easy job … but someone’s gotta do it!