Uber Tales (9)

Uber Strategies

I sit. I sit in cool shady spots just around the corner of where I’ve dropped you off. Sometimes right in front of your house under some kind of perennial, maybe a pine or a cedar throwing a solid shadow over me in my cool resting place. I need a solid shadow to avoid dappled reflections on my screen. I piss there too. One must. I sit there mostly for only a short while. Not pining under the pine. Sometimes I attempt to write like now, but I hardly have time to construct one sentence when I get a call. That’s no way to write.

To write one needs time to consider the timing of robots so as to catch them green. Some of my guests take note of my smooth driving style and and compliment me. “It’s Parisian,” I tell th we talk about Paris. One must think of the hunchback beggar on the corner of Bompas and Fricker and ways to avoid him because he freaks one out. One has to find a way to mention Marcia and other Gautrain and airport security staff who have only one ambition in life and that is to clamp somebody’s wheel. One needs time to wheel one’s thoughts to spin a yarn. There’s another call and I had hardly parked in Parktown. This is no way to write.

To write one needs time to contemplate commonly occurring coincidences. Consider the case of Connaught Road. I apply the strategy there. My 15 minutes expire and I start my car. I’m not writing because not a single thought occurs to me in Connaught Avenue, Sandringham, naught. I start my car and proceed towards the Rosebank Gautrain station, without the intention of reaching it. I break the 15km roadtrip there into five 3km furlongs. The first one yields nothing. Neither does the second. The third brings me back to exactly where I dropped the smiling Adrian the previous day. Another call.

Where was I again? Oh yes, another call and I was telling you about the surly Adrian who was smiling when I dropped him off. That’s part of the strategy: Get the surly to smile. In fact, I was telling you about the case of Connaught Avenue. Another call … to Connaught Avenue. I sigh and sit in Connaught and naught again. I do the first furlong and then second and the third to where I hope Adrian is still smiling and get a call to go and drop somebody off in Connaught. I could’ve also told you about the day my first trip was a pick-up in Seymour Street, right next to my friends the O’Gradys and my last drop-off was in Seymour Street right opposite my friends the O’Gradys after having done some 20 trips and 180km, but I’ve got another call and you get the picture: You pick up some Spaniards and your next call is most likely to come from some other Spaniards. It’s uncanny.


Uber happiness @ Nuno’s after another great day

I pick up a nanny with some kids and they sweep my supply of sweets and litter on my back seats. I smile. It’s part of the strategy. Another call.

Then there’s the romance. The possibility of romance. It won’t be Patrick or Gary or Bongani or any other male name. When I’m in the mood for romantic dreaming, which is often, I have to suppress a slight irritation when a William calls me. However, when Nina calls me my heart leaps a little. Ah Ninush! Oh Ninush! My sweet Ninush! I pick up Nina’s brother Lita. His phone is as dead as my romantic dream. I hand him my charger with a smile.

Amanda is calling! My torturous crush of my high school days flames up with a clear picture of her fiery red hair flowing in the wind as she cycles to school. Amanda my well-loved second ex wife also springs to mind. Who will this Amanda be? That’s the joy of my being. Every girl who calls me could be the one. I only have three minutes to fantasise before I pick up a tall Brazilian girl from the Melville International Backpackers on 1st Avenue. She’s surly and on her way to the Rosebank Mall. I’m cheerful because it’s my operational base. Amanda laughs when I tell her about her predecessors. She smiles when I drop her off. Sweet strategy. Another call.

Sandy takes me to Sandton. I don’t mind doing drop-offs in Sandton, but I shoot straight out of there as soon as I can. Back when I started and was still chasing the buck instead of the stars, I worked Sandton to my chagrin. Now with my rating of 4.77 stars, I can sit in the suburbs, the leafy suburbs and have first right of refusal over the 4.5 and 4.6 guys chasing the buck. Another call, sorry.

This is no way to write. It’s not right. I’ll have to extend my ‘Offline System Maintenance’ that which you call lunch or breakfast and write then. That’s an Uber Strategy.



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August 13th


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