We get a kind of funny feeling sometimes when those big red tourist buses pass by as we’re enjoying a beer al fresco. We feel a little bit like an animal in a safari tour. That’s why we would prefer it if more tourists took cabs and tried to hide themselves from us. Alas, that does not seem to be the case.
Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 23 Previous profession: Always a driver
It actually gets slow in the summer. A lot of people are out of town, and the tourists don’t generally take that many cabs. You can always tell a tourist because they don’t know how to hail a cab. They just stand there without waving you over. And some of them don’t know what the lights on the top mean, so they’ll try to get in when you have a fare.
BETEMARIA Where I hailed him: LES Where he hails from: Ethiopia Years as a cabbie: 10
Previous profession: Shopkeeper
Business is slow in the summer. And the tourists don’t really take that many cabs. And they are the worst tippers. Well, actually, it depends. The Irish and the Germans are good tippers. The Koreans and the Chinese tourists are the worst tippers. The Japanese are the best. They are very good, very generous.
Where I hailed him: Chinatown Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 8 Previous profession: Always a driver
Yes and no. Yes during Christmastime. A lot of tourists come then, and it’s cold and they have more bags, so they want a cab. In the summer, though, I think they’re less likely to take a taxi. I mean, God, look at this sunshine! More people are willing to walk places than take a cab now. Unfortunately.
Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Bulgaria Years as a cabbie: 2 Previous profession: Deliveryman
It doesn’t add that much business. Most of the tourists are in Midtown, so if you go up there you can find them.
Where I hailed him: Kips Bay Where he hails from: Israel Years as a cabbie: 4 Previous profession: Security guard
I can’t tell much of a difference. Seems like when the weather is nice, people are less willing to drive around. Probably tourists would rather save money by going on the subway. I do get tourists in here, though. Most of them are really excited to get in, I think they all consider taxis here a big New York thing to do, and they want to tell all their friends back home they got a ride.