Thursday, April 06, 2006


This will be of no interest to you at all unless you find yourself on the streets of Boston without a paddle, but there is a curious cab situation at large in this wondrous city. In short, there is no 'system'. It came to our notice fairly early on in the trip that flagging a cab was a fairly random business. Mainly because the ones that were stopping generally had no light on the top. At first we thought that this meant that if a cab had a light on it was busy, which alone would be a strange enough opposite to the London/NY cabs we are used to. But oh no. On close questioning of several cab drivers it transpired that the light has no meaning whatsoever. ie. it is totally up to the individual cab driver as to whether he uses his light to signify if he is free or occupied. We were urged to write and complain, as the cab drivers themselves were less than impressed with this situation, but seemed to have no idea as to how to change it themselves. Curious.

And whilst we're musing on lack of systems, there also exists a perpetual life/death situation to rival the average whale watch whilst one is trying to cross a road. Crossing the road in Boston is complicated enough as it is - first there is the white-safe-to-cross-man, then there is a flashing red man countdown of 20 seconds, then there is a red man. Which would be all very well if the countdown meant that after 20 seconds the lights changed, but there seemed to be another half hour or so of crossing time after the countdown. Which again would be all very well if the drivers themselves paid any attention to traffic lights, but they simply don't....


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