Anorak News | The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route

by | 7th, August 2006

“I HAD that Pope John Paul II in the back once. Two weeks it took to get the smell of burning incense out of the upholstery. And he left a lousy tip. Said: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” How that’s supposed to pay the ruddy bills?”

This Polish cab driver is just like the natives. He might even be better, having learned only the quickest way from A to B, not taking in detours via C, D and multiple crossings of the river.

And more are on their way. As the Telegraph reports, 200 Eastern European drivers from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are arriving to drive our cabs.

Many have been trained in the ways of the road at the Prague training school run in part by the Plymouth-based taxi firm TaxiFast. Drivers are going to London, Swindon and Yeovil.

And Inverness. The Telegraph’s man in the cab office sets one student a challenge. “Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh? That’s the A82 south then the A87 right," says Artur Piotrowski. He’s right. Very soon Mr Piotrowski could be joining the massed ranks of Highland Taxis.

Things look good. Although we are not told if the Telegraph’s man in the backseat is behaving in the manner of a drunk at chucking out time and delivering his destination in a thick Scots burr. You can only learn so much from a text book.

Just listen to what this would-be cabbie has to say. “Scotland is a very beautiful place I think," said Mr Piotrowski, who has seen photographs of what could be his new home. "It has mountains and I love mountains and climbing and walking. I think the people will be very nice.”

And his tutor Derek Merry says there might be a problem with the language. Though he can speak Russian, and Czech fluently, the Telegraph says Mr Merry’s Scottish dialect extends only as far as “Och aye the noo" and "there’s a moose loose around the hoose”.

Not that this should not stop Mr Piotrowski getting a lot of work. “Hospital, please my good man. And don’t spare the mooses”…

Posted: 7th, August 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink