As I shoved my bags into the back seat the taxi driver grumbles that he was just about to pull away, apparently, I had taken so long that he had thought I was a no-show. ‘Sorry I was just putting my shoes on’ I say, which I hope conveys that I couldn’t have left the house any quicker unless I was sitting on the doorstep; looking disdainfully at me he turns the car around; and we head off to the station where I am being dropped this morning. Now bear with me, at the top of the road an extensive programme of works have been carried out, with a roundabout being swapped for traffic lights with pedestrian crossings; some of the lights have plastic hats covering them, and some do not – but none of the lights are connected and so don’t actually work yet.
As we approach the lights to turn right we find that there is quite a bit of traffic also turning right, so far, so expected, and when he can the Taxi driver crawls forward and stops midway across the road. At this point, a man in a White Jeep pulls forward to our left effectively blocking our path. Somehow managing to honk his horn and slap the steering wheel cabbie raises his hands in a gesture of bewilderment and says ‘No’ irate but at normal volume, when White Jeep looks nonplussed he tries again ‘it’s a roundabout’ this he demonstrates by pointing down then twirling his finger around, the bloke looks amused and shrugs.
As this does not convince White Jeep to reverse out of our way, the cabbie undoes his window and tries again louder ‘Move back, THIS IS A ROUNDABOUT’. However, the provocation of White Jeep’s laughter pushes him suddenly much closer to the edge; and he moves his taxi forward until there can only be a hair’s breadth between him and us. Purple-faced he screams ‘this is a f**king roundabout, the f**king traffic lights are not f**king operational yet, you f**king tosser, get out of the f**king way’ complete with hand signals. This escalation encourages White Jeep to concede, and he moves back leaving the way clear, obviously having decided that the next stage was probably having his tyres slashed before his very eyes, or being dragged from his car and beaten unconsciousness with a rolled up copy of The Sun. I chose to say nothing, having decided it is far too dangerous to be risk comment, and thankfully, the rest of the journey goes without incident.
When I arrive at the office, I retell the story to the gang as everyone is getting settled in for the day; and add that the most shocking bit of the whole experience was that the angriest taxi driver in the world had a Buddhist emblem hanging from his rear-view mirror. Cassie shook her head sadly and said ‘imagine what he would be like if he wasn’t a Buddhist’ while Mags our resident expert says ‘Well, yes, Buddhists are some of the worst, what did you expect?’
As always, let me know what you think