Thursday, September 28, 2006
[Updated to include photos]
So I'm in Vancouver. "On vacation," as they say. I haven't driven a cab in a few weeks. Instead, I spent that time completing the first draft of the book. Which I accomplished. And when I get back home next week, I will probably have my editor's notes for the second draft and get back to work on it. But I also plan to get back in the cab, even if it's on a minimal level.
Anyway, I arrived here in Canada yesterday and, of course, I'm experiencing a tiny bit of culture shock. It's been a little while since I left New York last, and everytime I do, there's a small transition. It's really quite beautiful here, and also incredibly quiet, to the point that it's creepy. I'm not used to it, but I can see the appeal.
So, of course, the first thing I did after leaving the airport was get into a taxi. The one we got was green and white, though there are plenty of yellow cabs around. I was a little skeptical at first that our ride would be slow and boring because this city seems so clean and pristine, but it turned out to be okay. Our driver had on flip-up shades under the brim of a tan Vancouver baseball hat. In the taxi, he sat up so completely straight that the top of his head was in constant contact with the ceiling of the car. He also had on spotless white gloves and drove with his arms at the strangest angle.
At the end of the ride, I decided I totally approved of his moves. I mean, he didn't do anything particularly special or out of the ordinary, but he definitely had that quick, efficient, get-you-there-in-one-piece-but-fast style that I have tried to perfect in my own driving.
The only other thing of note was that when I tried to buy cigarettes, they didn't have my brand. I didn't recognize most of the others either, so I resorted to treating the girl at the 7-11 like a salesperson who works on commission, asking her, "Can you recommend a good light cigarette?"
She handed me a pack of "Canadian Classics Lights" and said they were "popular." I bought them. They're alright.