Archive for July 3, 2011

It was a cruel joke; my brother was sat in the back as I walked over – “you can sit in the front, Kurt” he’d said innocently… Figuring I could do with the legroom, I thought nothing of it and got into the taxi.

I closed the door, attached my seat belt and immediately fought the urge to say something. Though it’s true that some smells can be blamed on the atmosphere, other smells on strange perfumes or deodorants; this odour could only be described as 100% unwashed taxi driver. A quick look around me confirmed it. Three pained expressions indicated that my family were thinking the same; it was such a strained silence he must’ve known.

It was as my parents relayed the address to the driver that I first heard it, the subtle passing of wind from the seat next to me. He looked indifferent and continued to adjust his SatNav – whilst distracted; I looked around again to survey the situation and almost cried, the window controls were by the taxi driver. It was only the one window slightly open that supplied the car with fresh air, but the air conditioning far out-powered the wind and only managed to make the situation worse. Stale sweat and cabbage proceeded to circulate the taxi, slowly choking us all.

I was grateful for the very small amount of fresh air feebly coming from the window nearest to me, but couldn’t phrase the question we were all thinking without offending him. I doubted the safety of asking him to open all of the windows, let us out and into a different taxi or spray something to combat “that disgustingly overpowering smell” and so remained silent, mouth clamped shut for as long as possible. If only I could lean closer to the open window without drawing his attention…

Between moments of flatulence, suffocation, SatNav directions and terrible driving he’d ask a question and receive a short stifled reply. A terrible scraping – the underside of the taxi against a speed bump brought us all to attention and accompanied the “turn right” which signified the end of our tortuous ride. It didn’t need saying; we were all happy to be outside again.

It turns out he DID expect payment for the journey. I felt sorry for the next passengers and silently begged we wouldn’t have to endure the same driver on our return trip home – I’d rather breathe the exhaust fumes.