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Thursday, August 03, 2006



A busy night at The Grand

Every cabbie has heard this line at least a few hundred times. And we all know what it means -

You're gonna get screwed.

Had a radio call to Henry's about midnight. Dispatch told me it was "one person, going 'north'". Kimo also said that if the fare wasn't outside when I arrived, that I should go inside and see the bartender. Now that is something I don't do. If a person wants a cab, they damn well need to be outside looking for it. Going into a bar causes problems. No place to park. The drunk usually has just ordered another drink and wants you to wait while he finishes it. You get the drift. I told Kimo the same thing and added that if the fare wasn't there when I arrived I would immediately declare a "10-13".

Well, he was outside waiting and was pissed that he didn't get the chance for one more beer. Like the two minutes it took me to get there placed him in jeopardy of imminent dehydration. I also irked him when I advised him that he couldn't smoke the cigarette, he had just lit, in the cab. He said he would finish it first. I started the meter and said, "No problem, the meter is running. Take all the time you want." He popped the "cherry" off the end and stuck the remainder over his ear and got in the cab.

"Where to?"
"As far as eight dollars will take me. Thats all I've got."
"Where do you want to go?"
"As far as eight dollars will take me."
"I understand that but I need at least a general direction to head for."
"North, as far north as I can go for eight dollars."

Normally, if someone tells me they are short of funds and are up-front about it, I'll take them all the way home and "eat" the difference. In fact, if this guy had kept his mouth shut, that is exactly what I had planned to do. But then this guy said, "I am short cash, but don't worry. Just give me your card and the next time I need a ride I will call for you and I'll take care of you." $8 is a 1-1/2 mile journey and in that 7,920 feet he told me at least 15 times, "Don't worry, I'll take care of you." When the meter clicked over to "$8.00", I pulled to the side of the road and told him that that was as far as we were going.

He sat there flabbergasted and told me that he only lived a few more blocks up the street. "Do you have money to pay for those 'few blocks'?"
"Uh, no. I told you I only had eight dollars."
"Well, sir. You got your moneys worth then, didn't you? Eight dollars, please."

Oh, during the trip I had established what his final destination was and those "few blocks" were another two miles further on or an additional $6.

Overall, it was a fun and profitable night. Two trips to the Pride of Hawaii in Kahului Harbor and one OGG run. Plus 13 other assorted pu-pu runs (two from the harbor to Denny's in Kahului). Damn near put $300 on the meter and drove 163 miles. Mexican Mary was my relief and I was gone before 5:00am. Tips were generally very, very good. Police shut down the "Triangle" about 1:25am, do the the number of fights in the parking lot.

A couple a nice guys, who have been here for a couple of weeks, asked me on the way to their hotel why the "locals" hated tourists so much. I gave them the truth. "Locals" hate tourists because of the "have/have not" syndrome. They see island visitors as being very rich and they know that they will never, NEVER, have that much money to take nice trips and buy nice things. They are ordained to live a "hand-to-mouth" existemce. That builds a lot of hatred and animosity. Ocassionally it explodes in everyones face. They witnessed that tonight.


Isn't this orchid just breathe taking?

Mau'i doesn't have an exclusive market on beautiful sunsets
Cheffe, of Pictures From Shanghai, took a trip to NYC last month and captured this great view.


"Let's all be careful out there!"


Dogbait said...

I must have been out when you explained this but what is a "pu-pu" run?

Peggy said...

Those are some beautiful shots of your island. I would hope that the island's beauty would go a long way to compensate islanders for not having as much cash as the visitors.

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