One time, when we were trying to get to Brooklyn, the cabbie stopped but then tried to pull away when he heard our destination. Our companion, an otherwise charming and decorous young woman, became so incensed that she thrust her arm into the open back door and grabbed on to the partition as the car began to move, screaming all the while about how she was going to report the cabbie to the city. She did. Impressive woman.
BHUPEN Where I hailed him: Midtown West Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 8 Previous profession: Store clerk
When people are really drunk, sometimes you try to kick them out if you think they are going to be sick in your car. But when they are drunk it is hard because then they want to argue and they can be stubborn. It’s better just to skip them in the first place if you can.
Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Waiter
Sometimes when they are too drunk. You try to avoid picking those people up, but sometimes you can’t, and then you realize that they are going to make a mess in your cab. It ruins your night if they do that — you have to stop, get it cleaned, pay to get it cleaned — sometimes the person who did it won’t pay you, so then it is your money you are losing. So if I think someone is going to get sick in my cab, I’ll try to get them out.
JEAN Where I hailed him: Lower East Side Where he hails from: Haiti Years as a cabbie: 5 Previous profession: Messenger
One night I picked up a man who got into the back and started smoking. I told him, ‘Sir, you can’t smoke in the cab, it is against the rules,’ but he kept on smoking like he didn’t hear me. So I tell him again, and then again, but he keeps on ignoring me. So finally I pull over and make him get out. It’s illegal! I can get a ticket if they catch him smoking in my cab. And I don’t like to breathe it anyway.
HASSAN Where I hailed him: Murray Hill Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 15 Previous profession: Construction
One night a few years ago, when it was snowing really badly I had to kick people out of my cab. I was stopped at a light and I had the out-of-service lights on, but these two guys just opened the doors and hopped in. They wanted to go to Brooklyn. But it was too dangerous. The roads were all snowy and I was having trouble controlling the car, so I told them that I wouldn’t go anywhere, that they had to get out.