Brett and I have been rockin’ the Mini Cooper S for the last three years. I was excited to see the slew of Minis in their natural environment. Now, I did spot quite a few on the streets, but not nearly as many as the iconic London Taxi.
I visited London with my Mom when I was much younger. Their was very little that I can recall about London. Plus we were only there for three days. What stuck? The smell of diesel fuel and the big black taxis everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I never recalled seeing these flashy ones covered in advertisements, but that seemed inevitable.
I recall hearing, reading or watching something about London taxi drivers’ brains being special. That because they need to have an internal map of London, their brains have adapted to make them better than a GPS. Whenever I heard this it sounded interesting enough, but I never gave it that much thought.
Let me tell you, not one of these drivers had a navigation system. None of them asked for identifiers of our final stop and not one called homebase for directions. Since I was also using taxis in Birhmingham and Manchester, I was quickly able to see the difference. Those drivers outside of London weren’t nearly as good.
My drivers were all charming and pleasant. Chatting with me using their intercom system. They were conscientious of dropping me on the correct side of the road so I wouldn’t have to cross the street in my irrational shoes and rather large rolly laptop bag.
My travel lesson learned… they usually don’t take credit cards, but will stop at an ATM for you. Every single one of them were floored when I tipped them. It was a great feeling to think I made their day for a coupla pounds. I’d say them and their special brains earned it.
*I did find a clip of what I must have seen on National Geographic.