Last week during lunch I mentioned to a coworker I had never taken a taxi. Ten minutes later we were cruising through downtown Minneapolis in a cab. A mile to the river and back again was our route.
During the ride, I quipped about this potentially being a Cash Cab, so our driver turned around and offered to comp our joy ride if we answered one question correctly…
“How many countries surround Somalia?” He asked.
“Yes! Okay, cash cab today.” (I learned later the real answer is three.)
We hesitantly thanked our driver and walked back to work.
It was an oddly spontaineous moment for noon on a Tuesday. “The hailing”was honestly the most exciting part. As we took our short cruise in traffic, I realized taxi rides were not half as exciting as I expected them to be. But I wonder if the reason is that I had no purpose, I was going nowhere.
It would have been different I think it the cab was taking me to an airport, and I was anticipating a flight to Europe. Or to meet someone for a blind date, or to pick up a new puppy. (I dunno…whatever)
Crazy metaphor time.
I think taking a cab is kind of like kissing someone. If I have no connection, no purpose with that particular person, the most exciting part is the chase, the ‘hail’ if you will. After that, it’s just a boring mile to the river and back. Maybe, I’ll get lucky and neither said person or I will be loaded down with emotional baggage from the kiss.
I’ve kissed too many boys in the “lunchbreak taxi” kind of way. I have a feeling I’m not alone.
The question is why? Why do I, and you, feel the need to satisfy bored or curious with an er…taxi cab ride?
Maybe it’s just about something new and exciting, or maybe we can find purpose or direction when there is no commitment.
Here is the value added to my life from taking a taxi around the block: I now know how many countries surround Somalia.
An unexpected lesson.
[Photo: Ben Fredericson]