Uber Chronicles: Mth2Wk2


I love the nightlife more these days.

I’m endeared to the dark starry skies a lot more than I ever envisaged prior. With me, taking in the scenery and appreciating nature in all its splendor happens by default, and if it were just the vast lands of uniform green areas, or the beautiful flowers adorning some sidewalks in the Federal Capital, it’d be easier to understand. Instead, I find even the littlest of details appealing.

The streetlights along the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road, Abuja have even brought their quota to the mix.

You know what they say about intelligent minds and finding it hard falling asleep? Yh, that’s usually my story, though, this is one plague I would never pray to rid myself off especially with how much more King Solomon got by just asking for wisdom.

So to kill two birds with one stone, I take my mind and all that’s on it for a long ass drive while I get paid in the process, all thanks to Uber while at it.

We are encouraged to interact with our riders and hold the conversations however politely, for the duration of the ride. The prerogative, however, falls on me to determine the pace of said conversation; if I am not interested, I will leave you with the impression that I am a tad boring, yet competent Uber driver with whom you were fortunate or unfortunate to be paired.

Yh it could go both ways!
Some people hate it when you’re chatty, and others loathe you when you are not.

What interests me?
Matter-of-factly, I have always been a sucker for a beautiful face. I’m not drawn to a lady who feels entitled cos of her beauty, but rather, one that comes across as smart and opinionated in an instant; they can hold meaningful conversations and continually pique my interest for the duration of the trip.

I’m homophobic, but yea, smart looking guys probably living the life I’d love to own. They most likely left their sleek cars at home for some reasons, like shaking off a stalker, evading unnecessary attention or just for want of being chauffeur-driven for a change.

I also get to put my retentive memory to good use.
Considering these accounts are weekly, just like our pay slips, I look forward to recounting juicy details that might creep up somewhere within my week of pickups and countless networking possibilities.


Alex: the soji cab man


Meeting Alex was purely fate setting two people up like it was meant to be ab initio. I met him on some regular day when all I needed was to get somewhere and didn’t know how to. I know technology should have made things easier, with the advent of google maps and all other global positioning systems applications, but I couldn’t take chances this time around. It was already 11 PM and I needed to go see someone urgently in one of the Abuja suburbs, off airport road which is a labyrinth built by the constructions giant in this part of the world, Julius Berger.

Anyways, back to unfolding the story of my first encounter with him; after I had parked my car in front of H-Medix, I tried flagging the first two cabs and on hearing my destination, they immediately declined. BUT Alex was different, he seemed fearless unlike his predecessors, and after agreeing on a price, we were on our way.

He was driving a beat down 1998 Toyota Corolla, but what fascinated me about it was the fact that he kept the interior squeaky clean; he had the cleanest rag I had seen with any cabby¹ and he used it in cleaning his dashboard every now and then. He was in total control of the car at 100Km/Hr and I felt myself relaxing unlike with other folks whom I was always uneasy with their driving (you know how you feel there is never a more careful driver than yourself?); I noticed he didn’t have a rear view mirror, but even that didn’t give me a cause for concern.

We got talking and I became aware of the fact that it was a very dangerous business they were into. I wonder why I had never seen it that way. He recounted several occasions where he encountered armed robbers on the road or a seemingly harmless passenger suddenly produces a gun with intentions of robbing him of all the money he had made that day or depriving him of his means of livelihood: the cab.

Over the years, he had gained from his wealth of experience and has found many ways to do things the right way and has perfected taking precautionary measures. Right there, I realized I had just discovered a wonderful asset and not just a regular taxi guy.

Another fascinating thing about him is that he has lofty dreams: nothing enthralls me more than a man who can see beyond his present situation, looking to the future with renewed vigour every time.

Before the night was over, I was sure I wanted his number and he would be my chauffeur anytime I had to make any impromptu late night trips to places I wasn’t familiar with. I saved his number on my phone as ‘Alex: the Soji² cab man; such numbers could be useful in a number of ways.





[1] Cabby: Cab driver

[2] Soji: sharp; dexterous, experienced