You need a taxi. You find a taxi. You step inside. You explain your destination.
And if you’ve just watched Taxi Driver with Robert Deniro, you may be inspired to add ‘step on it’ in a grungy New York accent. Albeit tempting and funny, it’s up to you. Cabbies already have enough wise guys in their cars. But who knows, you may get a chuckle and an inflated final tab. Lucky you.
Back to the point.
When you get into a taxi, do you find yourself unconsciously, automatically opening the back door, sitting and delegating from the back seat? Sure, we all have. Can’t help it, I guess. But have you ever stopped to think about it?
I hadn’t. Until recently. Nobody ever explained cab etiquette to me. Does such a thing even exist? I guess it has always been understood that the first rule of cabbing it is to always sit in the back. Nobody ever asked why and it was never a conversation piece. In my experience being in Toronto, almost everyone unconsciously hops in the back. Nothing wrong with it, just funny.
Why do we do it? After all, we don’t sit in the back when our spouse or sibling drives us somewhere.
Of course, when we travel in larger groups, someone ends up sitting in the front. I’ve often been that guy and almost always strike up a conversation with the driver. Besides small talk, I ask how many people on average sit next to him on a fare. The answer that comes back is ‘not too many’.
Is it a comfort issue? Is it a class issue?
It might be both but I think it’s neither. It’s simply habit. Generally speaking, we don’t think much about habits like this. Too many other things to think about.
I also think cabbies prefer having passengers sit in the back. It’s safer and provides a space buffer between people whose relationship lasts mere minutes, from pick up to drop off. Nothing wrong with that, either.
How do you cab it? Are you an habitual back seat passenger or prefer to ride shotgun?