Friday, December 4, 2009

True confessions: I'm a two-timer

It's really awful, how I string them along. It's not right the way I lie, telling one I'm at home when I'm really out riding around with the other. They don't know about each other, of course. I hate to think what would happen if they ever found out.

I'm talking about taxi drivers, of course. The only thing more valuable than having one loyal driver in Abu Dhabi is having two. And I'll do whatever it takes to keep them both around.

It's almost impossible to describe how utterly frustrating it is to stand in 110-degree midday heat looking for a cab, sometimes for 30 or 45 minutes or more. It saps your soul. It sends you back to your room to change into a dry shirt. It makes you late for work. It makes you cranky. It makes you think about getting on the next plane home.

And when you find a way around it, you never want to go back.

Razon was my first regular driver. He picked me up on an especially frustrating day, and I promised to pay him double the meter if he would pick me up again the next day, same place and time. A beautiful relationship was born.

I've continued to pay him double the meter, which amounts to about $5 American -- a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a ride. The weather has since cooled off; some days now, it doesn't even reach 90. But you get spoiled. It's cool having a driver.
A few weeks ago, Razon was assigned to three days at Yas Island for the Formula One race. I found another driver, and right away I knew Rafiq was someone I could depend on. Like a savvy veteran, I lavishly overtipped when he dropped me at work, and offered him double the meter to pick me up the next day.

Now I have two faithful drivers. Razon is still my main guy, taking me to work most days, but I keep Rafiq around, too. I have him drive me to the grocery store or laundry or mall whenever I can. You never know when Razon might decide to head home to Bangladesh.

If that makes me a two-timing cheat, so be it. What would you do in my shoes?

1 comment:

  1. I love this post, Robert. I can picture the smile on your face when you figured this out.