Thursday, May 18, 2006

I've had too little sleep to cope with this...

A business meeting in Cardiff means I’m up at 4.30am in order to catch the train.

Have I mentioned that I’m not really a morning person?

My colleague joins me at Crewe and it’s good to catch up with him, but it does mean that there’s no opportunity for a sneaky kip.

We grab a taxi to the office and my colleague politely asks the cabbing “how’s business?”.

A fairly innocuous question you’d think, but having got himself going on the woes of a life as a taxi driver (the increase in cabs on the streets is driving his profits down), it’s but a short trip to a diatribe about the corruption of council officials (which drove him out of business when he was a joiner you know) and from there the rest of the journey is filled with him ranting on about “ethnics” and “them bringing murderers and rapists in”, how we’re about to be overrun by 300,000 eastern Europeans, how this is the wrong place anyhow for young Muslim men under the age of 25 (? Yeah that one confused me as well…), how immigrants are taking all the jobs and having new houses built specially for them, how they bring diseases with them and overrun the health service and cost us decent tax payers and…and…and…

And he honestly says, without any trace of irony, “not that I’ve got anything against them mind, one of my friends is black. He’s a fine bloke, works really hard. Mind you he has just been given a 5 bedroom house and it’s just because he’s black. He admits as much. I mean he has got 9 kids, but even so…”.

What do you do in a situation like that?

My colleague and I are stony silent. At one point I can take no more and have to correct him on some of the woeful ‘facts’ he’s trotting out, but he’s undeterred. He has no apparent realisation that he lost his audience a long, long while back (about the time he first opened his mouth), not to mention any chance of a tip.

Though it would be a tempting to say “here’s a tip for you…stop buying the Daily Mail and try going a week without blaming someone else for every possible perceived wrong in your world”.

The office is a short 10 minute drive from the station.

It felt much, much longer.


John Davies (Cardiff University 1985-88) said...

Was that a Cardiff cabbie? If so it's quite novel, that diatribe; normally its the incomer English who are to blame for all their woes....

Anonymous said...

Cabbie sounds like my Mum on a bad day!!


stuart said...

I could talk about sheep and inbreeding but then that would make me just as bad! Thank goodness I live in the multi cultural mix that is Manchester we would never have anyone like that around here! ;)