I think the cab driver is listening to some sort of live feed from a dating app. The guy they cut to is falsely assertive. He keeps asking what do beautiful girls really like to do and a sultry girl states random utterances of acknowledgement. It used to be you’d hop in a cab and had no choice but to listen to the grizzled larynx of Shan Tian Feng acting out revolutionary battles. Now people of China, the drivers of Beijing, have a choice. Who knows how much further this might all descend. I feel as though I’m in this man’s bedroom.
I had a devil of a time getting a cab tonight. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t hot, and so I couldn’t complain much. I stood out in front of the building I’d just had a meeting in. My colleague headed off for a subway. All the cabs that passed were full. Private cars pulled over, and private people walked out or walked on up. I gave my old kuaidi app a try and no one was going my way. Uber’s long since been shut down. So I decided to walk along heading towards the Posco building lights in the distance. I’ll head to the next cross roads. And then on to another one. Nothing.
Twenty minutes into my search I spied a cab with his light on fly past and stop one hundred meters up at a light. I wasn’t sure if I should dash for him. He was three lanes into the boulevard. The light held and I walked over assertively. Opening the front door I said: Hey, let’s go to the airport.” Knowing this to be a not insignificant fare I was nonetheless fully expecting him to say: “scram.” He didn’t and I hopped in.
In the time it’ s taken to write three paragraphs we’ve managed to move about a kilometer. There is some terrible traffic here, right outside of the 798 Art Center. It’s always this way and just now it’s the height of rush hour. A cab is broken down in the middle of it all, two cars up to the right. The cabbie inches his car along, by brute force whenever there is an opening. He’ll be here for a while. I’d be on one of these bike services if I didn’t live out in the suburbs.