Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Drive Me

I’d been very curious about trying out different “social” sharing ways for doing things like getting a room and taking a cab, which was probably why I was all okay with renting my own little room. I actually had a very good time with it. Having my own little apartment in Chicago was perfect and it being convenient to where I was going made me happy. Also, the price (considering the cost of a hotel in Chicago) was perfect.

Over the last weekend of January, which was also the first weekend of February, I had back-to-back shows. The first was a band I was absolutely over the moon to see as I had been wanting to see them since I had gotten back from Korea. The second was Iron and Wine, again, but this time just him and a guitar at the Old Town. Both of these shows seemed like they would be a good time and I was happy to have a chance to go.

With camera charged and at the ready, I was trying to decide how I to get to Wicker Park on a Friday night during rush hour. I could, of course, take the train but I didn’t really want to. This was when I suddenly got a notice in my inbox that the festivaltechnically the Suns were playing the EpicTonic Deep Freeze festival (considering the winter we have had, quite appropriate)was having a special “social” cab service I had been considering checking out.

I figured what the hell, why not? and signed up for the cab service, meaning that I could get a cab from downtown to the show for free and not have to deal with the Blue line. Score.

At the appropriate time I ordered my taxi, after having had a cuppa with the Bard who was off to get snuggly in her home, and headed out the door to wait for my driver. My phone informed me of the name and plate number of the driver as well as a description of her car. All in all it was pretty straightforward: she called me when she got close to let me know she saw me, I jumped in the front seat, and we were off.

She was a nice girl, and I asked her how long she had been doing this. Apparently she used it as a way to stay busy during slow months. She was Puerto Rican, so we talked about the island, about our parents and our struggles with language learning, about our various careers. I have to say it was one of the most pleasant experiences I have ever had riding in a car, and basically in some ways like paid hitchhiking. I was fine with that. When she dropped me off she rated me and I exited her car just in front of the restaurant I wanted to go to. I think my experimentation in “social” ways of getting around things that I otherwise find a bit costly and annoying in America is an experiment I should continue.

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