Archive | 2:53 pm

My bucket list requires a helmet.

20 Aug

Thursday my colleague Rebecca and I flew to Melbourne for the day to meet with the team there. It was a mini-reunion of sorts, because one of the women there (the one who sent me the terrifying photo of the huge spider) worked on our Boston team when I was first hired. It was great to see her and get a mini-orientation of Melbourne.

We landed around 8am and hopped a cab into the city. The rush hour traffic was fierce, so although we were on the highway, it was all “hurry up and wait” with a lot of quick acceleration, followed by a jamming of the brakes. I was feeling a bit woozy from the flight (“Touch of turbulence, mate!”) and the cab ride wasn’t helping things.

To take my mind off how crappy I felt, I started telling Rebecca stories of random business travel experiences I’d had the US. In the middle of one of these stories, our cab (again) stopped. Then we heard a crunch, and were suddenly whipped forward. It took us a minute to process what had just happened.

Awesome! I’ve now been in car accidents on two continents. Check that off the bucket list!

It was a bit surreal. Our driver got out, went back and traded information with the driver who had hit us. (Apparently they only call the police if someone is injured or isn’t taking responsibility — much more civil.) It was all very matter of fact and calm — none of the American drama with people screaming, “What were you THINKING, you jackass?”

When our driver hopped back in the car, he said, simply, “People aren’t driving very properly today. What you gonna do?”

I love that. Goes right along with the “no worries” attitude that seems to be the national motto.

The rest of our drive was without incident, and when he deposited us downtown, I stood outside the car, waiting for Rebecca’s credit card to run. As soon as it had, she jumped out.

“Do you not tip cabbies?” I asked her.

She looked at me like I had five eyes. “Seriously?”

I nodded.

“No. And I think even if if I did routinely tip, I wouldn’t if they got me in an accident.”

I can see her logic. No wonder Americans are known for being tip-happy.