doggie trail

London Taxi Love

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.

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/sites/video/swf/ngplayer_v1.6.8.swf

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This entry was published on March 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm. It’s filed under DigiShots, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “London Taxi Love

  1. That’s so interesting to hear about the brain!! I’d had one of the drivers tell me before that they have to study for two years to become a driver! So that makes sense that they would adapt that well!

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  2. wow another london black cab lover like me!!! i agree with everything that you said…they simply ARE THE BEST!!!! there is a lot of drama going on here in London about the Olympics, i.e., that black cabs won’t be able to use the bus lane, etc. and another private cab company was telling its drivers to use the lanes and he would pay their fines and then transport for london took them to court, etc….it will be interesting to see whether their business is impacted fot the better or for the worse during the Olympics…..great article!

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    • Wow! Really!? That is nuts. I guess things do get crazy for the Olympics. I hope it does do good things for business in the city. I was sure Londoners would suffer with the surge of more people, but I didn’t know that it created such drama already. Oh man, to think of the stress the drivers will be under! London visitors out there… love the black taxi!

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  3. aaahhh the 3rd time what i wrote didnt come through…basically love your article and agree with it all they are the best!!! lots of drama happening with cabs and the olympics here in london as they are not allowed to use the bus lanes – olympic vips only!

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