20 February 2009

Happy people

I picked my passenger up from the Kingston rank. She gave her friend a hug and smiled into the cab beside me, giving an address in a nearby suburb in a bright American accent.

It was a quick and pleasant late afternoon trip. The weather is mild after some weeks of extreme heat, and Canberra’s older suburbs are looking delightful in their summer foliage. In a few months, the leaves will turn to red and gold and all will be glorious autumn.

She paid the fare, adding “I know you don’t tip over here. It always makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“I don’t need a tip,” I replied. “Just a smile.”

She reacted in the nicest possible way, face crinkling into happiness. “Well, you’ve got that!”

I love making people smile. It makes my day.

That was the start of a good shift for me, and at midnight, I was once again at the Kingston rank, one more fare to make my night before knocking off early to get a few hours sleep before my morning flight to Ayers Rock.

Two cheerful young men approached, getting into the cab as I packed away the Air.

They were even more cheerful on seeing Dire Straits playing on the iPhone, and they bopped their way to destinations nearby.

“Let’s just ride around until the album finishes,” I suggested.

“I could do that!”

But of course we didn’t, and went home by the best route. They were full of laughter and smiles and good wishes. And I the same.

Some days, driving a cab is the best job in the world!