Saturday, June 2, 2012

New York City and the People who Drive There

New York City. Two related lists:

                Things we experienced:
·         American Natural Museum of History
·         Central Park
·         The Metropolitan Museum of Art
·         Grand Central Station
·         Wicked on Broadway
·         The Top of the Rock
·         Wall Street
·         The Statue of Liberty
·         The 9/11 Memorial
·         A four story Forever 21
·         Greenwich Village
·         Coney Island
·         The Empire State Building
·         The best cheesecake of my life at Carnegie Deli

Things I have chosen to write about right now:
·         Taxis

I have been blessed to do a good bit of traveling. In these travels, I have concluded that my home town of Fishers, Indiana has to be among the safest places to drive in the world. This is very, very good. Were it not, I likely never would have learned to drive at all. New York City is definitely up there right along with some the more terrifying countries by way of driving.

Our first night of NYC, we saw Wicked on Broadway. With how much I absolutely loved it, I am thinking I am probably safe to highlight “Do something undeniably MAINSTREAM” off my bucket list. Afterwards, we hailed a taxi to get back to the RV park. Yes, friends, if you haven’t heard, it does appear that we RVed to New York City. The irony is beautiful.

Anyways, you are getting me sidetracked. I had the second most terrifying taxi experience of my life.
The MOST terrifying taxi experience occurred the summer of 2007, when I was 14 years of age. I don’t remember everything about that, but allow me to recount what I do: address of people we don’t know, Indonesia, back roads, Asian driving, dark, language barrier. Luckily, I felt totally safe with my Dad who speaks Indonesian and would protect me with his life.

Taxis in New York are almost on that level. On the way back from Wicked, we took a taxi. Here were our options: spend over an hour taking the subway back or risk our lives. Obviously we chose to risk our lives. I have put it on my Bucket List (my actual life-long bucket list) to never, ever drive in New York City. Ever. Not even once. Not even for a moment. Not even in a dream. Never. People don’t even use turn signals and I believe in turn signals like I believe in good grammar.

Important detail: I have been in dire need of a restroom since half time of the show. (Sorry, “half time” makes it sound more dramatic to me, like it could go either way, which was the situation.) Now, this driver is swerving to hit every single bump, trying with all of his might to jiggle the urine out of me. These actions went unappreciated by me.

Between the absence of signaling turns, the jiggling of the bladder, and the lack of apparent lane barriers/changing etiquette, the ride was just ridiculous to me.

Fast forward to the next day. Caitlin and I checked out the giant H&M. We bought nothing. You know how men get their figurative “man cards” get figuratively taken away when they do things in direct contradiction to manliness? Well, not buying anything at that H&M was almost worthy of revoking our figurative woman cards.

We walk across the street and sit down at a park. As we try to determine what to do next, a great commotion erupted about 15 feet from us. We looked up and saw a taxi BACKING UP across the street PERPENDICULAR to the flow of traffic with a man dragging his legs out of the passenger side. This was more than a case of crazy New York City driving.

The taxi continues into reverse, hitting a trash can and backing into the stairs right in front of us. The man stands up and starts walking. Police arrive promptly on the scene. The man, who was apparently not a passenger at all, but rather the DRIVER sitting deceivingly on the opposite side of the car, got in the car and drove away. When we left, we saw him pulled over about a block away.

Morals of that story:
1.       God spared us from seeing a potentially scarring event.
2.       Don’t be a drunk driver-turned-passenger.
3.       I am surprised, pleasantly, that not everyone in New York City is dead due to the people who drive there.

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