Friday, December 02, 2005
So the tree was lit Wednesday, as was the big snowflake that hangs over the intersection of 57th and 5th. And with these events came the crowds, which will continue to increase until the end of the year. I have been trying to brace myself for this. So, yeah, traffic was bad tonight, but I actually expected worse. I was able to maintain a relatively calm mental state, until about 7:45, when I got stuck behind the garbage truck you see below.
I was on 22nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, when it happened. The truck stopped and two sanitation guys got out and began to leisurely haul a huge heap of garbage bags into the back. I had a passenger with me, so we chatted, waiting for them to be done as the meter ticked away it's shitty 40 cents every two minutes. After about 10 minutes, the truck moved up three car lengths and stopped again, this time to collect another 20 or so bags of trash from the other side of the street. But near this pile of bags was a huge empty space in between the parked cars. After continuing to sit there for what seemed like forever, I started to lose it. I got out and asked the guys if it would be possible to pull into this space on the side so me and the 15 cars behind me could pass. They simply smirked at me and said, "Nope," and continued to ever so slowly throw the trash in the truck. Ten more minutes passed, and the truck kept moving a few car lengths and stopping for more trash. The whole ordeal lasted about 30 minutes, and by that time, my cool had evaporated and I was completely drained.
The thing about driving a cab is, I can make it through a 12 hour shift without feeling too tired or sleepy as long as I'm busy and moving. Once I get stuck in a really bad traffic jam, or behind an asshole garbage truck, as the case may be, my energy depletes. It's not driving the cab that exhausts me, it's the sitting still that does it.
Anyway, I finally got the woman home, and she was sweet and gave me a nice tip, despite the extra time and money it took to get her there.
Meanwhile, at one point in the night, I found myself behind a car with this curious license plate. I had some tourists in the back, so I made a little joke and said, "Look! We're behind the mayor of New Jersey!" I think they thought I was serious, though, because, after a pause, they politely corrected me, saying, "Well, it would have to be the mayor of a town in New Jersey. There can't be a mayor of a whole state."