Tonight, however, we enjoyed rather an entertaining ride!
I knew as soon as we got into the car that we'd be in for a treat: The driver, a thin, elderly man, had a large, colourful, cloth serviette laid neatly across his lap, on which were folded various slips of paper... and the music emanating from the radio speakers was -- for once -- not the mindless pop/rock more common in the cars of his contemporaries.
Once seated, and after I had given him our intersection, the cabby proceeded to ask me if I knew where the street was, clarifying that he knew, but he wanted to be sure that I knew how we'd be getting there, since it appeared we were driving in the opposite direction, but in fact, he had already worked out in his mind how he was going to get across the tracks to our street (perhaps the first cab driver I've met who A-understands the train track "issues" and, B-is able to articulate a solution in advance). I was impressed.
As we sped off down Santa Fe, I tuned into the radio; an commentator was announcing the Marriage of Figaro, recorded live at the Teatro Colon. Cool. I told the boys who the composer was, explaining that he was the same guy who had written one of the pieces they are currently learning in piano lessons. ("Mom, we know who Mozart is!" retorted Alex.)
Turning carefully (that adverb being another rarity for cabbies in this city) onto a side street and coming to a stop at the next intersection's light, the cabby stuck his head out the window to converse with two dachshunds who were trotting across the street. He then proceeded to tell us a very animated story, with lots of drama and hand waving, about two dogs he had once "barked" at, and how the owner had gotten all upset and threatened to call the police!
Simon smiled at me.
The cabby leaned forward and turned up the radio -- Figaro was now done, and the radio commentator was announcing the baritone for the next piece, Rossini's Barber of Seville. Impressed that I could identify both the work and the composer, the cabbie encouraged me to listen to the station in question, noting they often played live music from the Colon's current programme.
We enjoyed the rest of the ride without commentary, as all were listening to Rossini's overture, which had not yet ended when it was -- for once too soon for me -- time to get out of the cab.
"I liked him, he wasn't your ordinary cab driver", noted Simon as we walked down the street to our apartment. Alex piped up, "Just think, Mom, if we had walked home from dinner tonight, we would have missed out on this great guy!"