Writing 101: Day 17 – Cab Drivers and Maps. 

Prompt: Write using a map.

I take a cab to several places. At times, the noise and constant stopping and starting of the bus is tiring; it wears me out just taking it. I have met many cab drivers and most of them are nice people. Although, some of them (like in all jobs) are weird. 

I don’t mind if a cab driver is driving you and they talk to you. It’s nice most of the time to make conversation and it’s a way to make social connections and learn about people who are different from you. But certain drivers are so creepy I can’t wait to get out of the vehicle. But the majority of cab drivers are good at knowing when you don’t want to talk and they put the radio on to fill the silence. 

The most unfortunate aspect about a great many cab drivers is the fact that a number of them are very educated in the country they’re from. They have Master Degrees and PhD’s; they were the heads of companies. But somehow there education does not translate to Canadian standards. Or in an entirely different scenario, one cab driver I know, a lovely elderly gentlemen, has his PH.D. from the University of Alberta and he couldn’t get a job in his field (mathematics) so he drives his cab. 

I think are judgement of other places education systems is a bit harsh, we need to look closer at the institutions and places immigrants are schooled at so they can have jobs worthy of their degrees. I know Canada wants to ensure jobs for people who are already Canadians, but I think we owe better to people who are trying to become citizens such as our Great Grandparents or even parents did. Some of these cab drivers like their job and that’s great but I think some of them could use a university program to help them cross over to their occupation in Canada. 

 Another kind of driver I come across, are cab drivers who have lived and travelled everywhere. They have been all over the world and back again. They speak many languages and have chosen finally, to settle in Canada. These cab drivers have excellent stories to tell. They are some of my favourite because you can let them talk and don’t have to say a thing, just nod occasionally. They may not educated in the university sense, but their knowledge of the real world is astounding. They are well read and have seen great art pieces and have been where history is taking place. 

But there is a another type of cab driver I do not like at all. They are a shady type of cab driver. I have learned to tell when a cab driver is trying to rip you off. They will try to take the longest route to where you are going. They won’t ask you which way you want to go. And if you say, they may pretend not to understand you. But that is why you must say go here and here etc. I don’t quite understand why these cab drivers have trouble finding their way. They all have Google Maps on their smart phones and GPS’s in their car. Sometimes you have to say, use your GPS. The best cab drivers know the city, every nook and cranny and even with a GPS, know a faster way to go. Some cab drivers don’t know your neighbourhood well or where you are going and it is okay when they don’t know except that that is what their GPS is for. 

The worst drivers are trying to make it appear as if they are lost. They know their way well but they are trying to make more money off you. The best thing to do is to know how to get where you want to go and direct them; maybe take a look at Google maps on your phone. If they charge you too much, don’t tip. And if they got you terribly lost on purpose and over charged you a lot, call the cab company. Alternatively, you can always refuse to pay the amount they want you to pay if you for certain know how much the trip should cost. That’s what I like about paying upon arrival instead of having your credit card charged whatever the amount the driver drove. 

Another problem with certain cab drivers is they will tell you that their POS system is not working or having problems, when it is working fine. Sometimes they aren’t working, and you have to pay cash or go to a bank first, to pick up cash. But if you are like me and don’t carry much cash on you and you think a driver might be lying,  you can tell him to try your card and often it will ‘magically work.’ Most cab drivers I have met are honest in this respect but I know of a few who always try to avoid credit card and debit fees associated with a POS. 

I have mostly good things to say about the cab company I use. They are called CO-OP. They have an excellent mobile application too which is so helpful when you don’t know a locations address. Yellow Cab in Edmonton is hit and miss. I have had drivers refuse to drive me because I won’t pay cash. I have been sworn at by some Yellow Cab drivers too. But mostly, they seem like a reliable company. UBER is good at peek hours but I find the drivers at least in Edmonton, don’t know the entire city well. They also cost more then CO-OP almost every time I’ve used them (and I was always told their cheaper). The bottom line, I just don’t use them. I like to pay when I get to a place and I don’t like that their drivers don’t have the right insurance if you are in an accident. I also find that their drivers are not as knowledgable. If I was drunk at night, I’d take them, but not in the day. 

This is what came to my mind when I thought about maps. I use cabs to go all over the city as long as the destination isn’t too far. I wish I had the concentration to drive often; it would be so nice to be able to drive to a location, especially ones that are close. 


11 thoughts on “Writing 101: Day 17 – Cab Drivers and Maps. ”

  1. Saw your post on the Writing101 Commons. What a great idea to discuss your experience with taxi cabs. It’s also interesting that UBER tends to be more expensive than a cab. That is the opposite of what the case is where I am from.

    My only feedback for your post is that some of your sentences are a bit long and need a couple grammatical fixes. For example “I think are judgement of..” I think should have “our” instead of “are.”

    I wrote a Travel Thanksgiving inspired by today’s prompt. I’d love to hear your feedback!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mandi would you like to recommend me some books about descriptive writing?
    I’ve heard about writing with stardust.
    Also, I’m curious to know more about these taxi drivers who hold degrees in Phd. From which countries they mostly belong? And what’s your experience of travlling with Asian drivers?
    I always feel glad to receive any feedback on my writing.


    1. HI Madeeha. Honestly, I learned about descriptive writing first when I was in school in elementary school and I have just built on it over time. There is no particular book that I have found that works. Writing just makes sense to me. A great way tool to have when you are writing is a thesaurus, even if you just have the one open on Microsoft word. It helps you to become aware of different words to describe people or places. But we always must be careful that we are not using to many different words or describing something using too many adjectives.
      That being said y0u can always try doing a search on Amazon or Chapters for descriptive writing books. I did that today and I couldn’t find much.
      One writing book I found helpful from a course is called: ” The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life” by Julia Cameron. I read this one so I know it’s good.
      Some of the one’s that might be good that I did a search on are:
      “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg it had a 4.7 rating and good reviews.
      “Descriptive Writing” by Evelyn May Albright maybe good. It was the only one I could find that was descriptive writing but there weren’t any ratings.

      I’m not entirely sure where all these taxi drivers come from. A lot of them are Arabic/Muslim which gives you a whole range of areas they could come from. Some are from the Middle East and few from Africa. It’s not that every person from there has a good education but some drivers do.
      I have never had an Asian driver to tell you the truth. My Dad goes to China a lot for work and vacation. He says they are very pushy and get you to a place fast. Although, he almost cried because a driver hit a dog on the road and didn’t even go to see if it was okay or not in China. I don’t think I could handle that lol. You’re writing is very good. I enjoy it a lot. I hope I was able to answer your questions.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks mandi for your response.
        This information about descriptive writing is really helpful and I’m going to save this comment and I really enjoyed reading your observations about cab drivers.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing wrong in being a cabby, I went to a very good university and ended working in construction. Guess some of those rich people do need someone to build their palace and even got into the army and I can go on about all the jobs I had never related to what I studied, so as I see it there better not be any equality, plus it´s impossible that notion. Each person has it´s place in society and as a well oiled machine, having people doing all kinds of different jobs regardless of education makes the society as a whole function. How would it function if the whole society had Masters degrees and all worked in companies. Would there be restaurants? Any waiters, people who clean the streets, police, army, e.t.c. Just unreal. So each to his own place and the way they chose to live their life. By the way what´s with the university thing? I can give you countless examples and number one is my father that without any university degree has ended up being a succesfull man. So I don´t equate University with high economic status, although it is the norm though, but not necesarilly if that poor person in hungry enough and has a drive, and good work ethic.
    Plus I hate cab drivers that talk. I don´t want them to talk to me, I want them to get me from point A to B without hearing their life stories. Forgot, I actually don´t have money to get a cab, so I go on bus hearing all the other humans talk or with the wassap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments. You are right to say that each person has a place in society and that we need people to be cab drivers etc. too. I did talk about cab drivers I had who had no degree and were knowledgable. Thanks again for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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