The second to the last night of our San Antonio trip, one of my colleagues got extremely sick. He had to go to the hospital and everything. There’s nothing worse than being sick when you’re away from home, so I offered to help out.
He needed some prescriptions filled, so I called down to the front desk and asked for the closest 24 hour pharmacy. They gave me the address, I went to pick up the prescriptions from my friend and headed out.
There was a cab sitting outside the hotel, so I asked the cab driver if he could drive me to the pharmacy and wait while I filled the prescription. He said sure.
So I hop in the cab. It’s a van cab, but the first thing I notice is that the front row of seats has been removed. In its place, there is a computer with a flat screen monitor and a keyboard. Pretty odd, I thought, so I asked the cabbie about it. He tells me it’s for his customers, so that they can check their email or look things up online. Weird.
I ask him if removing the extra seat affects his business, since he can’t haul as many people. He tells me that, no, his customers appreciate him because he does everything to help them feel comfortable and safe.
At this point, I notice that I can see the road on the monitor of the computer. I can also see MYSELF.
As I start to freak out, the cab driver keeps talking… and talking… and talking. And then I notice that he’s going down a bunch of dark, empty roads. I look around the cab: he has his cab certificate on the dashboard. His dry cleaning in the back. And then there’s my image on the screen. Freaky.
All these crazy thoughts start going through my head. I kept thinking: “This is how I’m going to die. I’m going to get raped and murdered in this cab and it’s going to be broadcast all over the internet for everyone to see.” It was after 10:00. I was a woman alone in a strange city in a car with a guy who was talking a mile a minute about how “safe” he’s trying to make me feel. Something was not right.
I’m either on a messed up version of Cash Cab or I’m about to be murdered.
I tell the driver I’m getting a little scared and ask to talk to the cab company. He calls them and they tell me that they don’t have records of ALL the cabs, but that if he has the license and a cab number he should be legit. SHOULD BE? Seriously??
So, after talking to the cab company for a while and passing a few closed Walgreen’s, the cab driver apologized profusely and told me that no one had ever been afraid before. We FINALLY made it to the all night pharmacy and I felt a little better.
I went in to fill the prescription and the guy behind the counter told me it would be 25 minutes. I went out to the cab driver and told him how long it would be. He said he would wait for me with the meter off, so I knew I’d be safe.
I’m not the kind of person who usually gets afraid of stuff like that, but for a brief while I was convinced I was going to die in San Antonio in the back of a cab while the whole world watched. And, no, there were no trivia questions, either.