The Greatest Wedding Proposal That Could’ve Been Greater

This story is epic! It begins at Stanford University where I picked up Rashni. She told me an incredible story about how her husband Satish proposed to her.

Now they had been dating for about a year and a half when Satish suggested they take a road trip up to San Francisco. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky.

On the 280 freeway he tells her he has to stop to take a leak. He gets off at the CA-1 headed toward Half Moon Bay. For those not from the Bay Area this road is a 14 mile bypass around a moutainous valley of sharp twists and turns, a minimum 30min drive. And that’s without traffic!

I imagine at some point Rashni had to have thought “My God this is quite a detour for a pee! I see plenty of bushes that could do the job.”

Satish said he’d found a hotel that surely had a restroom. He plugged in the directions, it was 3 miles away. As they drove they passed a McDonald’s, a Safeway and a host of other shops. Not to mention countless bushes and shrubs. Still Rashni was none the wiser.

She attributed the random route to Satish’s stubbornness. Once he made up his mind about something, there was no changing it.

Eventually, they got to the hotel. After Satish “relieves himself,” he suggests they walk around a bit as traffic would be bad at this time.

He takes her out to the balcony. A perfect view of the ocean. The sun is setting over Pillars Point leaving a beautiful amber hue as the backdrop. His timing was perfect!

Dropping to one knee he pops the question. “Rashni will you marry me?” Through a telescopic lens, Satish’s friend captures the entire event from an adjacent balcony.

I was so impressed by the level of detail he put into planning his proposal. I asked what was the ring like? She said “What ring?” Tires screeched as I slammed on the breaks. What?! HE HAD NO RING?!

Didn’t want to tip her off he says. BS… I say. The ring is one of the most critical components of the proposal! It’s the cherry on the sundae!

And every man who has proposed in the past has to figure out how to determine his future wife’s ring size without tipping her off.

You find a way.

You figure it out.

It’s part of the process!

Part of the fun!

If you can’t figure it out, you do something, anything, hell, even a ring pop will do! But in my opinion, what you don’t do is show up empty handed!

Dear Parking Lot Nazi…

To the self appointed Parking Lot Nazi at the Morgan Hill Safeway, who was so kind to leave me this note judging my character and my car, I say this: Get a life and some real problems! Take that energy and put it to good use like writing to your Congress about gun reform.

My car IS that nice… To me! And if I want to take up two spaces because you idiots don’t know how to open your car doors delicately to avoid putting dings on my car, what’s it to you?!

How’s this, trade in your piece of shit for a better whip, so you can be on the level. Cause if your car was better than mine you’d feel me on my parking strategy!

That being said, If you are going to leave a note on people’s cars like the douche bag you are, at least have the decency to do it with some class!

Remembering Puerto Rico

I just saw an article about Puerto Rico being opened back up for tourism https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/puerto-rico-declares-it-is-officially-open-for-tourism-300569867.html it reminded me of a ride I had recently with a relative of a family who was hit by hurricane Maria.

Evie from Puerto Rico has 2 Bros and a sis and 80 yr old mom. She is the only one currently living in the US. Her brother Jose lived in countryside. When the hurricane hit a flash floods hit his home. Within minutes water had reached 6ft in his house. As he ran out he remembered his elderly neighbor who lived next door. As he went over to get her their was about 1ft of air in house!

Back in the US, Evie was in agony as she was unable to reach her mom for 4 days! On the 4th day she got a call from her mom, but she was only able to talk to her for 30 seconds just enough to let her know she was alive and that she loved her. It wasn’t for another 10 days that she was able to talk to her brother and rest of the family.

In America we sit and observe the devastation in the comfort of our homes. Meanwhile, Evies family went 1 mth without running water 1.5 mths without electricity. Luckily they were prepared for such an event by having big drums of water saved for a rainy day no pun intended.

They had to improvise by plugging in a hose to the drum and syphoning water for washing clothes and bathing using a stove to heat water! Too often we ignore the suffering of other human beings when the suffering happens outside of our circumference.

Where was FEMA I asked? Well, countryside was hit the worst and thus needed the most attention.

Her mother lived in the city and although was hit by the storm didn’t suffer as much damage as the countryside. Still, imagine not having running water, electricity for more than a week. We take for granted the luxuries afforded to us. I’m glad things have improved in Puerto Rico and encourage everyone to plan a vacation out there to help pour money back into the country as I’m sure this storm has dealt a savage blow to thier economy!

WTF?! Compilation Pt 1

I’ve had my fair share of weird but every now and then I’ll have an experience that’ll leave me saying WTF?!

Here’s some top picks from the archives.

Big ass Troy Palomalo looking Samoan jumps in my car grabs my Super Big Gulp full of water downs it then proceeded to pour a beer into it! All the while eyeballing me like Jules Winfield did Brett in Pulp Fiction when he downed his Sprite! WTF?!

This drunk girl jumped in my car asked me to give her a ride. I explained it was an app service and she said can I just give you my credit card? Uh, No. WTF?!

Gave a ride to another drunk lady and her 10 yr old daughter. Asked what she did for a living and she said she was a broker then spelled H-O-O-K-E-R! Her daughter was in the 4th grade I’m pretty sure she knew what that spelled! WTF?!

Ernesto had a coworker he was attracted to who had a boyfriend. The interesting thing is her and her boyfriend had an open relationship. The weird thing is when one wants to venture outside the relationship the “prospect” must be interviewed by the couple first. WTF?!

An Irish guy from the Bronx told me a story about a time he walked into a bar in Oakland full of black guys. Being the only white guy in the bar he thought it would clever to say “Ok everyone I’m a fed I need everyone to put their hands on the table and remain calm.” WTF?! Well I guess that’s one way to break the ice! Obviously he lived to tell the story!

I was waiting on a rider and when he arrived he apologized for the wait said he had just finished putting a load in laundry. WTF?! I was like what kind of fetish is this guy into?

Picked up this guy Devon a white coming from a Furry Convention. He was wearing a big raccoon hat and a tail. And yet for some reason he thought bronies were gay. WTF?!

Two men hopped in my car and started coversating about somevguns they had stowed in their trunks… I was like shit did I just pick up some hitmen?! Turns out they were off duty cops… Whew! Seconds later I picked a guy who was fresh out on parole! WTF?!

Picked up a girl who sits in my front seat pulls out a pipe and asks if I mind if she blazed? Hell yeah I fucking mind! I got kids I can’t have my car reeking of weed!!! WTF?!

A couple I was driving told me a story about an Uber driver who picked up a passenger who rolled down the back window and fired a gun at a passing house! An Uber drive-by?! WTF?!

Upon giving a ride to a homely woman in her late 40’s on her way to the airport I noticed she had no bags. Upon inquiring as to why she had no luggage she told me she was flying to Oregon to see a plumber. Without hesitation I said “Wow you must be very particular about who cleans your pipes!” Whoops! WTF?! For some reason the rest of the ride was uncomfortably silent!

Another Uber driver told a story about picking up a lady headed to the airport. He knocked on the door to assist her with her luggage. Oddly, she answered the door butt-naked! WTF?!

Picked up this couple from a company party at Hotel Valencia. His wife was a smoking blonde a bit tipsy though. When she got in car she took off shoes and laid her head in his lap. Seconds later I caught a whiff of something wretched. I thought, did this chick just fart and as reading my thoughts he turns to his wife and says ” Did you just fart”? WTF I was embarrassed for the both of us!

I picked up a young lady early New Years morning who mentioned she just moved to SF from San Diego and had been house hopping while she was trying to get established. I asked what brought her to SF and she explained she recently got divorced. I sympathized and said “That sucks, couldn’t keep it in his pants huh?” She said “Not him. Me!” Oh Snap!

I had a chat with a lady boy named Andy who I picked up from Shareworks (a hook up spa for homosexuals located in Oakland). Now Andy was a straight hustler and self proclaimed sugar baby. “What’s a sugar baby?” I asked. He said he has old rich guys pay him. Evidently, these guys love to be dominated and he just demands money from them and they pay up. The majority of his “clients” he doesn’t even see! Just talks to them over the phone! WTF?! Much safer than being an escort I imagine!

This morning I asked this guy Guillermo about his work he snapped at me and said he didn’t want to talk about his job because he hated everything about it. The work, the people, the culture… Everything! WTF?! I told him better to have a job and hate it than to be unemployed!

Now Helen was a black chef who happened to work for a Japanese cuisine. Now I could stop there but it gets better!

I had the windows rolled down to air out the stench from the previous ride. She said “Man you got all your windows rolled down!” I said “Do you want me to roll them up?” She said “Do I? I’m not trying to have my wig blown off!” WTF?!

If you have any rideshare stories that you’d like to share I would love to hear them!

Lil Miss Cleverpants

I know I primarily said this blog was about my Uber rides, but I have to go on a tangent and tell you about what happened at home last night!

So I was putting my 6yr old daughter Paetynbto bed and we talked a bit, had ourselves the wildest time!

First we got into a deep conversation about our fears. She asked me papi what are you most afraid of? “Losing you.”

She paused, then smiled.

“I’m afraid of spiders, snakes and wolves…” She goes on to list about 20 other things she was afraid of.

Then the hiccups came. So we spent a good 20 min trying to get rid of them. Scare tactics,tickling, holding her breath. Nothing seemed to work. Not exactly sure how but eventually they went away.

Now with the hiccups gone I said “Remember I have to get up at 3 in the morning for work so let’s settle down.” She said she couldn’t.

Then I got a brilliant idea! I said “Pae here’s what I listen to when I’m trying to relax. I played some meditation music. She said “I don’t like this. It doesn’t sound good coming into my head!”

“Thats because your don’t know how to relax. Let me show you.

First I go feet go to sleep, legs go to sleep, tummy go to sleep, etc til I got up to the head.”

She told me to repeat the process and this time she’ll nod when she’s said it to herself. So we went through it again. Feet go to sleep… Nod. Legs go to sleep… Nod. Tummy go to sleep… She paused… Then nodded. Whew! That was a tough one!

All the way to the head. The nods faded away, and she was snoring in less than 2 min!

I was like holy shit! Did I just find the Holy Grail to getting children to sleep?! The song wasn’t even 1/2 over!! I prided my discovery. How could I monetize this I pondered.

Then it hit me. Now she’s asleep… But I’m still awake! Shit!

Ok now to fall asleep for real. Started walking myself through the steps. Feet go to sleep… Legs go to sleep.. down the list.. as I begin to fade away off in the distance I can hear my son’s pet turtle Michelangelo scuttling across his glass cage. Just then I thought, I wonder if walking on that glass is like walking on ice? Mikey needs some grip. He’s got to be….

Someone was tapping me on the arm… I open my eyes to find Paetyn starting at me eyes wide open almost surprised to find me still awake!

Quickly regaining her composure she says I heard something. Clever.

It was just the turtle..

She was surprised “I thought you’d be asleep by now..”

Wait what?!

Were you just pretending to be asleep?!

She grinned.

Genius!

This kid was clever. I’ll give her that.

The Curious Case of Percy Collins

Had a guy Percy Collins and his family giving them a ride to OAK If anyone was an expert at CP time it was them! For those unfamiliar with the term it stands for “colored people” time which is an adjective the describes black people’s stereotypical disregard for punctuality

15min it took them to get into the car! 10 min for them to bring out 3 suitcases another 5 for them to mosey on out to the car and then they pull out something from the trunk of their minivan. The daughter is dragging it with her back to me so I couldn’t see what she had. Turns out it was a foldable electric wheelchair!

Then my internal dialogue runs rabid “Maybe I should help her.” “Man fuck that bitch, they made me wait!” But emotion gives way to logic “Bro she could scratch the shit out of your car…” My baby! Immediately I’m out the car “Let me help you with that!” She swore up and down that it would fit in my trunk… It wouldn’t. She clearly did not want to squeezed in-between the scooter and her obese mother. She was. Funny how the universe has a way of working things out!

25 min later we are finally on the road. We go through the normal rigamarole about where they are flying to and what they do for work. Percy the patriarch was the most vocal. Got to telling me his name was Percy Collins and his son was also names Percy Collins Jr. When Jr had a son Percy Sr called and asked if he was going to carry on the naming tradition and his son responded with an emphatic NO! Percy said “See how bold he got over the phone!”

Now Percy was a retired shuttle driver from the veterans hospital. He said he had to retire because when he would show up to drop off a patient and the intake nurse would get confused as he couldn’t tell which one was the patient!

He would often drop off patients with dementia and find himself getting into arguments with the patients as they would believe that the cane he was walking with was there’s! I said you know it’s yours cause it had the initials PC for Percy Collins on it!

Hey if you can’t name the grandson at least you can name the cane!

Too much bullshitting!

Now before I jump into this story I want to preface that in no way am I trying to slander or disrespect any one culture or the way they talk. I’m giving you the story as I heard it. Nothing more.

Ok so the other day I stopped at a McDonalds in Oakland around 2am to use the restroom and recharge. I pulled up to another Uber driver, an Indian fella who introduced himself as Hari.

He asked me if I drive for Uber and Lyft(as if my decals didn’t give it away) I said… yeah. He said “I don’t drive for Lyft. They are no good. They are too much bullshitting.”

I was curious so I bit. “How so?”

Hari goes on to tell me that Lyft evidently deactivated him for too many customer complaints. “Lyft, they banned me. permanently, now I only drive for Uber. Uber they are different 3, 4 times already they deactivated me for too many customer complaints. ”

“But I drive for Uber for a long tine. Since 2015 I am driving . They say Hari we know you are good driver. Some complain some do not, the it’s all the same.”

“Uber, they understand. I am deactivated one month, 2mth, I re-register; they approve. no problem. But Lyft they deactivate me permanently. Fuck them they are too much bullshitting!”

Now I’m thinking Bro you are not seeing a trend here?! Both companies deactivated you for poor customer service! Instead of complaining about the company, why not look at the root of the problem! Apparently your customer service skills suck!

Too often I hear stories about drivers being rude to their riders, getting heated because a rider suggests a different route even to the point of kicking riders out of their car?!

The way I see it if a rider suggests a better route it’s probably faster which means you can get to your next ride faster. So why not take the guidance? It’s a win-win!

The only time I see this as a problem is when a rider opts for a Express POOL but then tries to beat the system by having you drop them off at their actual destination instead of the drop off point. I’ve only had that happen a couple times. Most people understand the game and are willing to play by the rules.

The other situation is when you pick up multiple passengers on a single UberPOOL or Lyft LINE and they want you to make multiple stops. That’s when you politely tell them that’s not how it works. Of course money is a powerful motivator and I might be persuaded to drive a couple of extra blocks if the tip is solid.

Bottom line there is no reason to be rude or impolite. Drivers are just trying to make that money and riders are just trying to get to their destinations. Why not make the best of the experience?