Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Taxi in Belfast

My best friends know I am no shutterbug. It is but rarely that I take the camera out to take photos of anything that does not bear a striking resemblance to myself. Most of my photos thus end up looking something like this:

Or the photos have to be just plain ridiculous; something like this:

But the other day, when I was walking down Belfast, I saw this taxicab. As most people who live in the UK know, most (actually, if I'm not mistaken, all) cabs in the UK are the same kind – called black cabs. While they're very comfortable and all that, they're not designed to get you to drool. In fact, they look only slightly better than the 'trusty' old Ambassador.

This taxi, however, was not one of those. Though built by the same company, it was an older model – a model that harked back to an earlier era where young men wore spats, debutantes presented themselves to the queen, Gandhi still wore clothes, and Nehru still had hair. Though I'm not sure if Nehru wasn't born bald.

I asked the taxi driver if I may snap a photo of his vehicle. This being Ireland, a simple yes wouldn't suffice, of course. The taxi driver looked up, smiled and said, 'Sure, but it would be even better to take a few pictures of the interior while you're taking a paid ride.'

'Er... I'm broke.'

'Oh, no worries then.'

He then went on to tell me how this model was more reliable than the 'new fangled contraptions' they've got down in Edinburgh or London, as it had been tested. He also told me, rather wistfully, that his chrome bumpers were missing. Then, he gave me yet another reminder of why I love Ireland and the Irish so much – he opened the door, and allowed me to sit in the driver's seat and take a gander at the wooden instrument panel.

One of those things that can happen only in the emerald isle, innit!


Neon said...

an alternative would have been to ask the cabbie to take a pic of you sitting inside the cab, keeping with the no-shutterbug theory. yep i tend to think outside the box

good to see you back :)

Siddhu said...

Haha! Thanks, dude - hope this time, it's for longer. :)

Btw, your thinking is out of whack, more like! ;) ;)

Nishad said...

Those drivers are awesome! We took a ride in one of those Black Cab Tours with a driver called Billy. He had his own visiting card, which proclaimed him to be Billy, BSc. Hons.
He narrated the entire history of the North-Irish conflict to my two friends while I dozed off in the back seat.

Anand said...

When was the last time you were happy because an autorickshaw driver invited you to look at his speedometer?

Funny what migration does to perspective...

Siddhu said...

Heh, Anand. Dont think I ever wanted to take a look at an autorickshaw's speedometer.

And besides, there's a difference between being nice to your own kind, and being nice to a foreigner.