A Pleasant Morning Taxi Ride

In Manila, its a bit rare to have a pleasant cab ride. You have dishonest drivers, run down cabs that reek, drivers that drive like lunatics and keep the radio radio on some local FM station which cracks bad humor and plays irritating music (I’m used to it. I laugh about it… but this can get very annoying)… etc. etc.

The morning was quite different.

On my way out this morning, I was hoping to find a cab right away because I didn’t want to take the long route (tricycle + shuttle + fort bus). The moment I got out of the village gate, I saw a cab heading my direction. “Oh, swerte” (oh lucky), I thought to myself. Cabs aren’t that easy to come by in that area.

A very light floral scent greeted me as I boarded the cab. It was a nice smell…not your the piercing, headache-inducing, citrus car freshener smell. The cab was very clean and tidy too. “This is nice”, I thought to myself. I told the cab driver my destination and he gave me a polite nod. After that, he turned off the FM radio and put in a CD that played hotel lobby-like music. This is rare. Normally, the cab drivers will play some local station at almost full volume… to the point that speakers were actually struggling. I’ve gotten used to it and my friends and I joke about it a lot but it can get really annoying.

To top it all off…. the driver offered me the morning paper. I was thinking,”this is for real?” Then he locked the doors and told me our route because he passed the other route and it was traffic. I said, “ok”.

We passed the back streets to avoid the morning traffic. The back streets could be quite stressful to navigate through due to the narrow roads, the kids running on the street, and the tricycles that go every which way. He just stayed relaxed and hummed along with the CD.

As we got closer to my office, I told him that I appreciated the clean cab, the music, and him offering the morning paper. And I told him thanks for the pleasant morning ride. Its not everyday I ride a cab and get treated this nicely. He said with a polite smile,”Ginagawa ko lang po trabaho ng maayos” (Just doing my job properly). I told him to keep it up.

Finally, we arrived at my destination and checked the meter. Php 90.00. If it were tampered, it would read Php 110.00 or Php 120.00. But no. It read Php 90.00.

I paid the fair plus a little extra and wished him well. It was a very pleasant surprise. I wish more cab drivers were like that.

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