I have a history of getting lost, I admit this. I have a tendency to wander about and find questionable areas all because I thought it would be fun to turn left instead of right, or because I thought I knew where something was and then realize that, in fact, I don’t.
Today I wandered about San Francisco by myself and managed to see Chinatown, ride a cable car, get to Fisherman’s Wharf and take a street car back to the hotel, all without incident. Who knew that the journey that got me lost, would be the fault of a cab driver?
As a cab driver he is paid to take people where they are going and know the city. In case he doesn’t know the city, the cab company has conveniently given him a GPS device to help him find his way about. Apparently, Bibliophile Girl and I got the only driver who had know idea how to do either of these things.
We hopped in the cab and told him where to take us “Curran Theatre please, it’s at 445 Geary St.”
It was 7:40pm so we added, “ We have to be there for an 8pm show".
So we pull out onto the road and off we go…..and we go…..and we go
Where the F**k are we?
Bibliophile Girl and I look round and realize that we haven’t got the slightest idea where we are. Note to cab drivers, when I know you’re going the wrong way and we’re in a city that I haven’t been in for years, you are goddamn lost.
So I ask,” Are we close by?”
“Yes” he says confidently, “we are a few blocks away”.
We go through a tunnel and finally we say, “This is not where we are supposed to be”.
“No, No, we are almost there”, he assures us
Two blocks later he pulls over an the middle of the block with an abandoned building, in the middle of god damn nowhere!
“Yeah, where is the theatre?”, I asked him incredulously,” You know, the one we need at be at in 3 minutes?”
He looks at us through the rearview mirror,” This is where you told me to go, Geary St and 8th”.
“No, what we said was we are going to the Curran Theatre, at 445 Geary for an 8pm show”, I said through gritted teeth,” A show which we are now late for. Get us there now!”
He bitches and moans but he eventually got us there 20 minutes late! I wanted to kill him.
But knowing that theatre always starts 10 minutes late I was torn between getting out of the cab and running to the show or sitting in his cab and bitching at his dispatcher until everything was on the house.
The driver had the nerve to stop the meter and turn around and tell me the full fare.
“You expect me to pay you full fare when you took us 45 blocks out of the way?!?”
“It’s not my fault”, he said,” That’s what it costs”.
Now, I try very hard to be nice to people. Being in a service industry I understand how hard it is to be nice to people all the time, when a majority of them are assholes. But I could not believe this guy had the audacity to tell me this with a straight face.
Bibliophile Girl hands him two twenties to get things going and when he made no move to get her change (a $15 tip would be excessive for even a good driver, don’t you think?) So I grabbed the extra twenty out of his hand and said,” No, there is no way you are getting that” and handed him the $6.
He turns around and says,” No, its fine”
Fine? What about this has been fine?
So I take the money and instead of handing it to him I threw it at him and watched as the bills floated into the crevices between his seats. Have fun getting them out buddy.
Show ends (it was awesome) and we hesitantly grab another cab to get back to the hotel. Less than 3 minutes and $5 later we are at the hotel.
New plan, when in San Francisco...walk