I am grateful there are strangers with clean cars, who drive responsibly, and want to take me places. For a fee. But I don’t mind the fee.
I am also always a little wary of crawling into a car with someone I do not know, trusting them to get me where I need to be. The other side of that coin. There is the tension to be managed.
Although recovery from my summer breakation is going well, I am not yet driving. My ankle will be able to tolerate it one day soon, but this is not that day. So I am dependent on family and friends to play taxi service. And God bless them for their generosity in that practical piece of support!
I don’t miss driving in our Los Angeles area. I rather enjoy being the passenger. But it becomes rather inconvenient and impractical to not be able to drive. It’s a short season, and for that, Uber has been a good resource.
Most of my Uber rides have been great, pleasant, and comfortable.
- Only one car had squeaky breaks, to which the driver commented, “I’ve been meaning to get that fixed.” To which I thought, “As long as they hold until you drop me off, I won’t panic.”
- Only one commented, “It’s telling me my one tire is low on air. It seems to be losing air. I think I have a nail. I’ll have it checked once I drop you off.” We were two minutes away from my destination, and we hit a rough patch of road at the exact moment he shared that news. The thump-thump-thump-thump sound of the tires did get my attention, but it passed quickly, once we got on smoother road.
- Only a few seemed to lack confidence in speaking English. We got along fine. However, giving directions from the back seat in English didn’t work so well. I ended up leaning into the front seat to wave “left turn” or “right turn.” The Uber map system, whatever GPS system they are using, directs them to use a road to get to work that has no entrance any longer.
- That same map system directs them to pick me up in the alley behind our home. I circumvent that with a quick text message while I wait for the driver to arrive.
- Only one was blasting a certain genre of rock music that was too loud and too metal for my taste, raised in a James Taylor and Doobie Brothers era. But I changed my attitude and head banged to Heart’s Crazy on You as we traveled together. The young female driver deserved a good sport in the back seat. Windows down. Hair in the air like I just didn’t care. It’s all good. Can I borrow your comb?
Uber arrives quickly after I place a request. No money is exchanged. The driver is identified by name, car description, rating by other customers, and number of rides given. That’s helpful. They don’t get paid until they complete the ride. I like these features.
It is fun to watch the app on my phone. It shows a map with a tiny car approaching your pick-up destination and communicates how long it will be until they will arrive. Helpful.
See the little ants on the map pictures above? Those are Uber drivers in my area when I took that screen shot of the app.
I’ve Ubered a lot in the last few weeks. It’s worked well for me and those who have been helping with transportation when they can. I hope to be driving again soon, but in the meantime, I’m grateful for Uber. It’s not cheap. But neither is owning and operating your own car. It’s a service I need right now.
Let me also give a shout out to the great friends and family who have pitched in with transportation over these last months. I couldn’t have made it this far without you! Thank you.
Stay charming, my friends! I hope you get where you’re going this week!