Earlier this afternoon, I watched a woman completely ignore the very obvious cab rank queue and march directly toward the line of waiting Black Cabs. It was raining, so a casual passerby could easily spot the steam coming from my ears as a gentle rage broiled away inside me. I’ve never seen a single stabbing, so I wondered whether that was all about to change.
I looked at the cab queue and no one yelled at her to “piss off”. As a Londoner this made me very proud because we only interact with strangers at the bar. Literally, at the bar. If this were Newcastle, the ambulance would already be on its way. Instead, I watched as the queue gawped at the woman in question before turning to each other with a reassuring nod: “Yes, I’m certain she was raised by badgers”.
I love Uber. I love everything about it. Except for the way it strangles local market competition. And except for the charges of sexual assault. And except for the accusations of homophobia.
Anyway, I love Uber. I love everything about it, but what the Black Cabs did next made me fall back in love with them too.
The first one ignored her. He didn’t wind the window down. He didn’t even look at her.
I thought, “Surely, this won’t happen again”.
And then the second one ignored her too. And then a third one.
A warm glow filled my chest and smile filled my face as I watched a meal of just desserts be served up in the rain. And while people in the queue caught the cabs that were rightfully theirs, she stood in the drizzle before slouching back into the queue like we hadn’t all just witnessed the unfurling of her immeasurable shame.
Today, this restores my faith in London’s humanity.