Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Talking to London black taxi drivers

Since I had my revelation about self-actualisation a couple of weeks ago, I've been trying to look for the same traits in other people. I've realised that every now and then, some of the taxi drivers that I get talking to exhibit some of the characteristics. Of course, a lot of the taxi drivers in London are quite quiet, some are talkative but a bit grumpy, however the self-actualised drivers are the ones that are a pleasure to talk to :-). As one example, I reckon that the 'straight' taxi driver who told me about his gay sauna habit was probably a self-actualising guy!

Last weekend, I came to same conclusion about the taxi driver who took me to a lunch party on the other side of London. He started off telling me a fascinating statistic that he'd heard from a psychiatrist that he'd recently had as a passenger.

Picture of London Bridge"Out of the people who've tried to commit suicide and failed, how many do you think go on to try again?" the taxi driver asks me as we're driving across London Bridge.

"I'm not sure," I start, ready to try and hazard a guess. But while I'm trying to decide on a sensible number, he's carries on with his story.

"My guess was that it would have been quite high, so I guessed 80%, but the psychiatrist told me the actual figure is only 3%!"

"Wow, really?" I say surprised.

"Yes," continues the cabbie, "and it's because attempted suicide is usually just a cry for help. Most people then get the help they need, so they don't feel the need to do it again after that :-)."

He seems genuinely happy that people driven to commit suicide often end up getting help with their problems so that they don't need to try again.

"You know," he says later, "I'll often work Thursday evenings. That's an evening when lots of people go out for a few drinks after work before the weekend. You'll hear a lot of doom and gloom from other taxi drivers about various stuff, but I tell you something, driving around on a Thursday evening, it's really nice to see young people out enjoying themselves :-). And why not, eh?"

Wow! In a few sentences he's managed 'awareness' (especially 'freshness of appreciation'), 'social interest', and 'identity with humanity' :-).

We chat about various things along the way, but it's the story that he tells me just before we get to my destination that's the most amusing.

"I must tell you about this female passenger that I had in the cab recently," he starts. "It was about 10pm and she was with a man by the side of the pavement, and they really were all over each other. They hailed me so I stopped the cab next to them, and they disengaged just long enough for the woman to get into the cab on her own. But as soon as she's inside, she's got the window down and she's leaning out to kiss him goodbye yet again, holding his hand, honestly I've never seen such a performance. You'd think they weren't going to see each other for years, or perhaps the bloke was going off to fight in a war or something! Anyway, he leans in and tells me to take her to this smart address in South Ken, and to take very good care of her, and then it's

'Will you be all right on your own dearest?'

'Yes my love,' she replies, holding his hand tightly, 'I'll call you in the morning, sorry my mobile phone is out of power, but don't worry, I'll recharge it overnight. Everything will be OK, don't worry.'

'Well if you're sure my dearest, I'll be thinking of you ...'

'And I'll be thinking of you too darling ...'


Eventually they let me drive off, and they're even holding hands to the very last minute, only letting go as I'm moving away so that they can't hang on to each other any longer.

About three hundred yards later though, this woman takes her mobile phone out of her bag and makes a call,

'Yeah, I've got rid of him now,' she says calmly, 'where shall we meet?'

I REALLY couldn't believe it, not after what I'd just witnessed! As soon as she got off the phone, she gives me a new destination before sitting back in the seat without a care in the world. She was just so clinical about it! She'd even made sure the first guy wouldn't call her on her mobile phone!!"

I laugh heartily at this story. It certainly proves that the girls can be just as unfaithful as the boys when it comes to extra-curricular activities. And hearing it from a self-actualised cab driver, I have every reason to believe that the story is true. After all, honesty is one of the characteristics!


Monty said...

With the number of taxis that you take GB, I'm surprised you're not on first name terms with all of 'em!!! LOL

Anonymous said...


Soul Seared Dreamer said...

What a twist. Never saw it coming.

Superchilled said...

The poor boy!!
(or do you think he had a similar phone call afterwards?)

Anonymous said...

are all taxi drivers in london black?