Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Call A Cab

Last night I had a dream that I was trying to get to the hospital to see a friend before she went into surgery --- but my only mode of transportation was a tricycle. It was quite an ordeal to get where I was trying to go, pedaling a tricycle, and it was painfully slow.

Growing up, my family lived in a small house in a blue collar neighborhood. Dad took the car to work, leaving Mom home with five kids, and no vehicle, unless she drove my dad to the train station in the morning, which she did occasionally. When my sister punched her fist through the porch glass window and needed to be taken to the hospital for stitches, I ran to the next door neighbor's house to get help. We didn't call an ambulance; the neighbor drove my mother and sister to the hospital.

I grew up in the suburbs outside of New York City. The only place I ever saw a taxi, or took a taxi, was in The City. Going into The City was a rare occasion, even though we lived only an hour away. The few times I was in the city, we took the train and the subway. Needless to say, growing up I never took a cab. Taking a cab was considered an extravagance.

I now live in the San Francisco Bay area, aka West Coast "suburbia". I have taken a cab once or twice while in San Francisco. But if I my car gets stuck someplace on the peninsula, I am likely to do one of two things: 1) call AAA or 2) call a friend. Calling a cab is just not part of my experience.

The other day, my car got "stuck" in the CVS parking lot late at night about twenty miles from my house (ie, I could not find my car key). I called a friend who happened to be close by. My friend drove me to my house, where I got my spare key. Then my friend drove me back to my car in the parking lot and I drove home.

And so, I was somewhat shocked when when my friend's girlfriend suggested that I should have called a cab instead. Calling for a cab never even entered my consciousness. The way I was brought up, you don't call a taxi..... you call a friend.

My friend didn't even bat an eyelash at my request to drive me to my house. My friend grew up on a kibbutz in Israel. Something tells me that in times of emergency, his parents called their friends for help.

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