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Trioct. I mean day 38.

I immediately avoided the airport and went straight for my higher probability areas. Sure enough ping! Kristian a cyclist. Why is it important that he’s a cyclist? Well he and about 2500 other people are staying in Bellingham for the night for the RSVP cycling challenge. People ride their bikes from Seattle to Vancouver over a two day period. The first day they ride 8-9.5 hrs all the way to Bellingham on the first day and then cycle the rest for the next day. It’s like a cycling club where they raise money to educate people about cycling. Wow! That’s a long bloody way! I couldn’t do that. I just wouldn’t. Fruitful Fridays started with a cyclists and it continued.

Next customer was Lee Anne and her hubby, bf, friend guy. Don’t know what he was actually but they were going to a concert in town at the Mt Baker Theatre. Off to see a bit of Bach. Meanwhile I’m playing on the radio some AC/DC in the background. Couldn’t imagine playing classical music driving people around. I think I’d have to wear a bowtie and shirt for that. No dress pants just stubby shorts and pluggers. Aka Thongs, aka flop flips. I think that’s how you say in Americano. The customers were lovely people and tipped me handsomely.

Another cyclist pinged me. None wanted to talk or cycle into town, and I understood that. Why use your legs, if you have been using them all day riding. Oh there’s also a lot of hills in town. I told them you’re my second group of cyclists, they weren’t surprised, except one guy, me. I drive around with my eyes wide open and my hair standing up on end and my mouth wide open, OK not true, I’m mildly surprised each day about the different people that enter my car. There were 4 of them. Derek was one of them. All very friendly. Two were engineers and two were software pros. Yep Seattle. It’s teeming with IT professionals, because my next customers were also IT pros.

Eric and his fellow. Another 2 IT pros. Yep more cyclists. Crazy people. Good on them for being fit. I’m just not anymore. I still get annoyed by cyclists on the road, but not in my car. Cyclists are people too I guess, I mean they’re paying me to drive them around.

Dropped those chaps off and then ping! Wow it’s a busy night already. Cristy was the next lady and um well I think husband, friend, dad. I don’t know and oh he was dressed as a drag queen. Off to Rumors the only gay nightclub in the village. Tell you what though for man he had stronger perfume than one of those department stores. Oh maybe it was the lady. Actually I don’t know. Cristy works as a parachute legal. Oh ah paralegal. That’s what I think of every time I hear that word. She deals with property corners and land disputes. Ha sounds like someone I know extremely well who does that day in day out. The other passenger works in a factory and gets paid to destroy things. Essentially works by the airport and any materials that needs to be discarded or tested for an aircraft he gets to be in one of those sound proof rooms and gets to have a ton of fun. Lucky you. I want to destroy things whilst wearing a little black dress. I mean if that’s the attire I’ll do it. I know people pay good money to destroy things. I think they’re called smash rooms, yet this lucky bugger gets to be paid for it. Ha legend. He didn’t tell me what his job name was. Not sure where I’d start to figure out what he did? Do I start typing in career that allows you to destroy items of potential importance, sound room? I don’t know. Very vague indeed, yet intriguing.

Oh another cyclist. This one was different to the rest he was from Alabama originally. Loved his southern drawl. He was wearing all white and now probably my favourite conversation all night. He knew a thing or two about history of the south. It was fantastic. I mentioned oh I loved New Orleans when I went there in 2017. A lot of French influence and the architecture was fabulous. Then he launched into the very first Mardi Gras. It actually happened in Alabama initially. Really? I actually didn’t know this. He was very proud of this. Side note his partner was from Brisbane. A vet. Whereas Larry, my passengers is a cardiologist at the University of Washington. I respect this profession due to a number of reasons. They saved my Grandads life twice. Double bypass and a pacemaker. Larry went on to talk about the abolishment of slavery and that even though Great Britain abolished slavery. They would happily buy cotton from the Confederate States who were still using slaves. It was all about money and it always has been. Change is unwarranted if money is going to be lost. Well you know what? People’s lives and values are far more important than money. The civil war broke out and drastically hurt the textile industry. I thought about today’s modern economy and the reliance of third world or developing nations. The west will happily pay for less expensive products and manufacturing if you can make a profit. Australia specifically, in my opinion needs to move away from Chinese mass production. Whereas the US is actually doing something quite innovative in that regard and internalizing a lot of it’s production and manufacturing. It does make me think that employees in the USA may get pay cuts and be forced to work longer hours as a result of this so called trade war, but maybe it will minimize slave labor and exploitation in developing countries. Now you cannot compare Trump to Lincoln, because I’m pretty sure Lincoln’s stance on immigration was welcoming rather than not, but in some strange way Trump is doing one thing that’s good. It makes me sick just typing this because I think he’s a big baby man, but in the long run he might be helping international people inadvertently. Some might think it’s a double edged sword, because the country’s economy will falter, but that’s still at the exploitation of millions. I dropped Larry off. He was one of my favourites thus far. I love deep conversations, especially about history. Why can’t I have people like you wanting to go Seattle. Could talk for hours.

Bobby and Lee were not cyclists. They were just people wanting to have a night on the town. They lived near Alabama road. They sent me a message on how to access their house. I thought maybe the utilities were in a strange place making their address actually on a different road. It wasn’t. I had to ring them and ask where they were, they it dawned on me there’s a stupid median in the middle of the road that the uber app doesn’t know about, that you obviously can’t cross unless you have a tank. Nope I don’t have a tank. As I picked them we discussed the new cycle ways and how they worked. It finally made sense why that cyclist the other day got missed at me when I went in front of her. So the cycle ways painted on the road give cyclists the ability to go into the front line of the drivers. Basically them giving them more preference over a car. Wow OK now because I pushed in front of that lady last week she thought she had the right to be in front of me waiting at the traffic light. I don’t like that. I don’t mind them having another lane, but giving them the ability to push in front of me whilst waiting at a traffic light is a bad idea. I could have run her over. Not to mention I hate being behind a cyclist. I’m always trying to pass them. I’m impatient. I’m not getting any younger here people. I’m not Benjamin Button.

It was nice to vent to some nin cyclists, until more cyclists linged me. Will and three other cyclists. They were much older than the rest. Wow good on you folks. They must’ve been in their 50s or 60s. Cycling all the way. Seattle to Vancouver. Kinda legendary. I’m still not motivated to get a bicycle and ride. Is the universe testing me here? As we were driving to their drop off point. Cyclists in the way. Have to pass them safely and not make it obvious that I’m pissed off at the riders in my way. Riding two abreast. Not single file. Bite ya tongue Paul. Plonked them off at a restaurant. Then I let it out before my next cyclist. Just vent now Paul. Count to 10. Patience. P is for patience. P is for Paul.

Another cyclist. OK. Getting sick of this now. Sarah was her name and yes she had friends. It’s like a bikey gang. I imagined a skit where the cyclists had a bar and had tattoo sleeves. Piercings and sawn off shotguns. “We’ll do the armored car heist tomorrow lads, we’ll have Ted on decoy duty. He’ll ride in front of the truck at the intersection, pretend to fall off and the driver will hopefully get out and see if he actually hit the rider. That’s when we’ll start the ambush. Make sure you’re wearing your balaclavas under your helmets. Then pull out ya guns and go for the jugular. I’ll be there with Percy and Gertrude, jumping in the armored car and driving it to our warehouse. Now atomic team. Block all police station entry ways with the Lime bikes and scooters so the backup can’t come and investigate. Hector, meet us at the warehouse and bust open the armored car”. “Yes boss”. “Oh any the Dolly gang you can simply intercept any cop car by riding in front of them erratically. Make sure you pretend to fall over, enticing them to help your poor injured selves. Is that clear?” “Sir yes sir!”

Then I had a weed manager. She manages a pot shop downtown. I told her about an excavator driver I worked with once that opened a church that gave it’s followers pot. Yes a weird non profit church that wanted to get marijuana cheap from the government. This guy was a total Red neck too. His Sunday sermon was sex, drugs and rock and roll. Geeze you can make a church about anything. The passenger said it was a good idea. I said oh yeah. Most churches probably get the communion wine cheap, tax free. Crazy world we live in. I dropped off Courtney and wished her all the best.

Ha next customer was Wick. Couldn’t help of John Wick. Keanu Reeves. In actual fact it looked like the dude. Yes Jeff Bridges from the Big Lebowski. Same beard, same hair. Crack up. I asked him about his name. He said it’s his last name. Ha is your name John? No it’s Richard. Um OK then. He was an uber driver in Seattle up helping with the cycling convention. Support crew. Found out he can work here if wanted to. I was stunned! What? He turned his app on and said yeah look I can pick up riders right now! Meanwhile I can’t do that at all! I’m limited to what cities I can work in. I can only do uber eats. He said it was bullshit and that I should talk to uber. His car is a 2017. Mine is 2011. Car has to be 10 years or less in Seattle. He said I should be able to work anywhere in Washington if your car is less 10 years old. I agreed. He stated that he makes $30-35/hour just ubering in Seattle. Yes there’s more people, but I would like to try that out at the end of each month and just get a huge profit instead of wondering if I can pay my bills and get savings again. I mean I’m surviving and paying my bills, but not making enough save much. Anything extra goes to my car or outings.

After dropping the dude off at the Days Inn. I started driving away when ping. Oh what? Back to the Days Inn. I picked up Aaron a British gentleman and his wife. Yep you guessed it IT professionals working for Microsoft, that were living in America and here for this cycling. Oh boy. They were lovely and could tell they liked my accent and wanted to know all about me. As we were leaving the hotel we saw Jeff Bridges wave, well Wick. I even said to my passengers who he looked like and they said Oh Wow, he really does. Glad it wasn’t just me. We discussed cricket and the UK in depth. They were staying at the Oxford Suites. They joked it was nothing like the real Oxford. Yeah no it isn’t. It took him 9.5 hrs to ride up to Bellingham from Seattle. Oh yuck. Meanwhile you have the rest getting here within 8 hrs. Crazy.

Next customer was Craig and his rowdy, British peeps. They were honestly my loudest customers ever. I was trying to talk to the passenger in the front. Her name was Lisa and probably the quietest of the lot. So hard to hear her. They were in town for wedding. Ahh wonderful. Seriously noisey. I needed a break from people for a minute. I had dropped them off at the Best Western Inn near the airport. Next plane is at 12:54 am. Ahh it’s 11.30 pm. I’m not waiting. Back to town I go.

Charleigh. A young lass with her bf. Going into town. She works at Olive Garden. She seemed embarrassed. I said I love that place. Really? Was the response. Said it’s 10 times better than outback steakhouse. She said true. I proceeded to go on a huge rant to them about the fibs they tell their customers about what us Aussies eat. Blooming onions? What are they? They’re just onions. I said I should make a genuine Aussie steakhouse like Beyond the Black Stump. Loved that place as a kid. Don’t know if it still exists. Most pubs in Australia do fantastic meals sometimes kangaroo. The passengers loved my rant and tipped me well. Bet they tell all their friends about this Australian uber driver that hates outback steakhouse.

Next customer was Sarah. 4 crazy girls who needed a lift for a bachelorette party. Oh it was actually a birthday party. These girls were so drunk. They joked about taking candy from a stranger, which was me. They scoffed a whole cup holders worth of treats I leave my passengers. That was a first. I felt like a farmer that just lost a crop from locusts. It’s fine though people need to eat them. It’s a necessary business expenditure.

Then was Caitlin, other half and her friends. They were in town to see family and attend a wedding. She was blonde and looked like a model. Ridiculous. They were up from San Diego. We all chatted about San Diego and the traffic. Yep it’s a nightmare down there. She was going to visit her friend in Melbourne. Ha small world. Have fun in a month down under, watch out for us Aussies.

Natalie was next and she was hammered. Her other half looked double her age. He was a nice chap. We conversed about vegemite. Nat liked it. She tried to tell her other half it’s like peanut butter. It’s really not, maybe texture wise it is, but sweetness it really isn’t. Tried to emphasize this and told the guy where he can get it. We also discussed birds of prey and how cool Eagles are. Australia’s wedged tailed eagle is 1.1 metres tall and has a 2.8 metre wing span. They were shocked. Yep. An oversized golden eagle. They even try and eat kangaroos.

Then next ping was another Natalie. Now she was extremely nice and wanted to go McDonald’s. Hooray something I don’t mind eating. She offered to buy me food. I happily accepted. As we were driving she asked me why Bellingham? I said I accepted a job as a senior archaeologist in Blaine. Then she said what? I repeated myself and them she told me her father was an archaeologist. I said who? She told me. Fair Dinkum! I’ve read his reports. She laughed. She said they’re so dry and boring. I agreed. Most technical reports are. She asked if I had a card and I gave her one. Nat told me she will tell her dad she met me and that if he needs people he may contact me. Funny small world. The weirdest thing is I remember dreaming about meeting this man months ago before I lost my job and I imagined him being old and having a massive house. Don’t know what he looks like or what is house looks like either. It’d be funny if I do meet him.

Braden and Brooke were next and following them Julian and Jessica. BB and JJ. Someone is messing with me. Alliteration at it’s best.

Maude was next or Erin. Hammered. Didn’t want to talk because she had a bad day. Guy ditched her and she spent the whole day doing flower arrangements. She wanted to just listen to music. But then she started talking anyway. Her friend Erin ordered her an uber because she couldn’t access her bank account because her wallet was stolen. So hour name is? Some long Spanish name. She shortened to Maude for me. She wanted to keep drinking, but had to do more flower arrangements.

After dropping her off it’s almost the end of a surge. $2. Woo. I came back to B’ham and tried to find someone. Next customer will give me an extra few dollars to my total amount. I did laps of Bellingham. Until I almost gave up, then ping. Joseph. 19 minute trip north! Perfect. I’m going home to north. Another IT chap except not a cyclist. He was visiting from Georgia to assist his uncle. He was happy to get a lift because he saw a bunch of brutes beating each other up. He was a little flustered, but calmed down after I was chatting to him. He told me about his daughter and how having kids changes your perspective in life. Said it’s the best thing to ever happen to him. Made him become less selfish. He stated I should go have kids. My response was one day.

Wow what a night. 22 trips. That’s it for now until Monday.

37 was the day

My day started at the airport with no customers! Geeze Louise. Arghh. Look at my competition pick people up in their cars. So smug. Really need to get to the airport queue earlier. So I decided to do laps of Bellingham, I’m like a spider trying to figure out where to spin my web to catch that juicy insect that’ll inevitably feed me.

Ping! Finally Bailey. A dental receptionist. I waited ever so impatiently. It was only a short trip, but she told me there wasn’t any customers until late in the day so she thought she go in late. Fair enough. She also was a spitting image of one of my cousins. It was really weird. Made me think of Australia and how I really want to go home and visit everyone. I know I had seen some of them in June, but it wasn’t the same. There’s something about the Australian landscape that is extremely unique and seeing your family in that landscape makes you feel comfortable.

After I dropped her off. Ping. Chase was the name. Then rider has cancelled, well then. Screw you too. Stupid name anyway. Go Chase a grizzly bear.

As I’m driving around B’ham. The pedestrians here have a death wish. Constantly not looking and then walkies out onto the road. This is not GTA people. I’m not going to get points if I hit pedestrians. One person, two person, and number three. Bloody hell. Use the zebra crossings people!

Vincent was my next customer and he is learning linguistics at the local uni. Specifically mandarin. Sounded tasty. Ah yes the mainland Chinese language that is imposing some forceful actions on Hong Kong. We managed to discuss this. He asked me what happened? I went way back in history to the Opium Wars. Leading up to the current situation. He was shocked. I said yep it’s all because of opium. It really hasn’t changed, it’s just a different addiction now. Capitalism and freedom. By the way the only Chinese I know is Cantonese and they’re the swear words. I dropped him off at the most awkward location. Had to do an 8 point turn to get back out.

Next was Kate and the lawyers. The house was stately and south of Western Washington University. The house across the road was a very American home, two stories, white exterior and an American flag on an isolated pole. Looked like something from an estate from the south. Red, White and blue sashes were observed hanging on a balcony and a window. How patriotic of you. To be honest I didn’t mind it’s pride with aesthetics. No Trump 2020 signs or MAGA signs. No political crap. That’s how imagine America from one home in the middle of the street. Oozing it’s freedom. The lawn was a vibrant green and mowed down to the millimeter. Some homes don’t look right when they do this or they do have political crap through the yard. This house should be in a period film. Anyways my passengers finally showed up, whilst i was ogling at their neighbours beautiful home. They were going to Chuckanut for a work party. Sounds fun. One lady suggested I get a go pro camera and do uber karaoke. I mean the thought has crossed my mind, more so the camera, but karaoke. I could have print outs of the lyrics to Peter Allen songs. That’d be great “When my baby…Rio De Janeiro…” whilst thinking deep about this and discussing various strategies. I went sailing past their destination. Now I had to do a 3 point turn. Cool there’s no one around. Then I said oh good no one around. Then as soon as I said that. A car shows up. This happens to me every time I have to turn around. Even the most remote locations. Murphy’s law! The ladies laughed at my predicament. 😢😞😖 you wouldn’t laugh if it was you. OK it’s pretty funny. That’s definitely camera worthy. After dropping them off I was in the narrowest of driveways. Gotta back out before someone shows up. Luckily no one did. Back to town I go.

My final customer was Janine and her son. She was a big time real estate agent in San Francisco. Visiting to assist her son in moving back down to the bay area after studying and working as a chef in B’ham. Very pleasant people. Reminded me of my uni days and how mum would always help me pack up my room at college and drive all the way back to the island. What an ordeal. Thanks mum. Huge help. Dad was always there helping with finances and mum was always there with the logistics. I have bloody good parents. I dropped them off and realized I had only made half my quota for the day in uber earnings. Time to head back home and cut my losses.

Next Is fruitful Fridays.

The 36th day

Up early. The sun cannot be seen. Trying to make up from lost time from Monday and Tuesday. My daily quota was half of what it should be. Stupid glitch. The glitch wasn’t showing my earnings for the day. Couldn’t gauge where I was. As I rumbled down the freeway in my vehicle, the rain was pelting down. Cool my car gets a free wash. I’m going to see if I can get a customer at the first flight to Bellingham from Seattle. I sat there for an hour an a half. Some of that time was me being there before everyone else. Nope nothing. Damn. Wasted my time. Fine you win this round airport. I went south to to Frederick Meyer. Ping!

Finally a customer. Tristan. His car had broken down on the way to work. It was his alternator. Poor bugger. He works as a joiner at carpentry business. Honestly I thought he said he was a jointer at first. As in someone who sells marijuana. I mean it’s legal in Washington afterall. Really hate the smell of it to be honest. That skunky gross smell. Yuck. Then it dawned on me that’s not what he said at all. Oh Joiner! He said points on what that is. I said something to do with construction or carpentry. Boom. I got the points. Most people think I’m a stupid uber driver. I’m not. I’m an archaeologist. I don’t know everything, but I can certainly tell you a thing or two about certain things. I dropped him off and tipped me more than I expected. Maybe it was my points for guessing roughly what he did? Either way I was thankful and asked him if he needed a lift home later. No unfortunately. Getting a lift back from a colleague.

Next passenger Infiniti. What a cool name! I told her as much when I picked her up. She thanked me and said do you sign with the Infinity symbol? Unfortunately she doesn’t. What a shame. Missed opportunity. Her nickname was Fin. Not as cool.

Sadie followed, wait a minute. I had a Sadie in my car on Friday night last week. Sure enough it was the same person. She had crutches the last time I saw her. She apparently broke her leg doing cheerleading. Damn, sounded painful. She did a tumble incorrectly and sustained a rather painful injury. I could only imagine the agony. I asked if there are any fellows doing cheerleading. Yes apparently they have one guy. He is stronger than the girls when lifting them up. That sounded like a fair statement. As I dropped her off I told her to get well soon and wished her the very best.

Dylan the man who entered my car speaking on his mobile phone. I had to turn my music down. Better not blast the guy out the car. Oh look he’s done with his conversation on his phone. G’day mate how are you doing today? …Hi there, I’m good thanks, you? Swell thanks mate. Found out he is a chef at one of the breweries downtown and that he was a psychology graduate. Nice one. Chatted for a bit. He had errands to accomplish on his day off.

After dropping off the brew cook, psychological analysis chap. Ping. Zach. Huh I have picked up a Zach before. He immediately messaged me and said make a left toward the parking garage. When I drove in I went right. Fiddlesticks! He said left. Reversed and repositioned myself. Drove back down to correct location. G’day Zach! He said you’re the aspiring archaeologist. Um well technically I am one. He stated last time I was looking for something else in that field. Oh yes I did have you in my car last time didn’t I? Yep. You worked at Haggen near the cinema. Sure do! Sweet. He had a kid with him this time. He was silent. We chatted about my future career prospects and then realized I was dropping them off at a high school in town. It was pretty impressive looking. Looks like they got some money here ay? Yeah it even has a Starbucks. Um what did you just say? Yeah the students really wanted one. The teachers agreed that it was a good decision. Seriously? This school has a bloody Starbucks? My voice cracked in disbelief. What? Yeah. No way! You’re having me on. Nope definitely a Starbucks in there. You have got to be kidding me? What next a Maccas? Pizza Hut? Steakhouse? Unbelievable. I wouldn’t shut up about it. My brain exploded all over the uber and out into most likely some spoiled students latte! Yes my exclamation was heard by many. Including the two high school students standing out the front. Sorry I’m foreign we don’t have fancy coffee joints in schools. USA out of control with consumerism. I suppose students could work at the Starbucks get some money at the lunch breaks. Nope I’m gobsmacked here. Dropped them off. I kept muttering as I left like a crazy person. Damn I thought having vending machines at school was the best thing besides the tuckshop. Nup. Ooo we got a Starbucks in our fancy school. Bloody hell.

After my mind had gone to another dimension and finally returned. I picked up Viktoriia from the airport. She was Russian. How do I know? Well she was on a phone call the whole time talking to someone. I heard her say Americano and Ruski. She was going to Vancouver via the bus station. She packed extremely light. Probably a spy. I made sure I kept silent so she could give the missile codes to Dimitri. Nah she was didn’t say any missile codes. I honestly don’t know what she said. Occasionally she laughed about certain things. Laughing is infectious so I laughed too. OK I smiled. Not crazy at all. I dropped her off and she thanked me in Swahili. I mean English.

Maybe I need to know a few more sentences in another few languages? Could be useful. Mona was my next customer. She was on business at one of the refineries in California. She was cool. She told how what she did was extremely dominated by men, but she learned everything she needed to know on the job 17 years ago from a couple of fellows. They were happy to teach her and she never got a degree or a certificate in anything. I told her I worked in South Australia at an oil and gas field in the desert as an archaeologist. She was stoked t o hear this. We chatted for a while, then she needed wine at the bottlelo. Sure I’ll wait. After she purchased the wine, I said is it Aussie wine? No. Awww. Told her about 19 Crimes and app you use to hear the convicts story. She wrote it down. As I dropped her off she said thank you baby and gave me $10 cash tip. Wow thanks. Wait what did you call me? 👶

Jesse was next and he was a silent talker. Had to really listen hard to hear him. Am I going deaf? No just silent talker. I’d hate to be in a nightclub trying to hear him. What!? You want to do what with a deer? Oh a beer OK! He was a tattoo artist and his partner in crime was a make up artist. Imagine if they swapped jobs for a day 😊🤔😟😲👹👺.

Then there was Mary and Vanessa. From Virginia. In town for a cousin wedding. Awesome sounds fun. As soon as I said I was an archaeologist. Vanessa told me she did an anthropology class once and that she found out you can date obsidian by extracting the water from the stone. Hydro obsidian analysis. Wow! Nice one. I was stunned she knew what she was talking about. I then thought about it. Why does that matter? How old is this obsidian? Oh about 40,000 years. When was it knapped to make a stone tool? Um yesterday. OK. Cool.

I dropped them both off and another Mary pinged me just before I finished the trip. It inadvertently started somehow. Wait which Mary is this one? The one I dropped off or another one? Rang her, which Mary is this? I’m your uber driver. We’re at the Archers Ale. Shit OK. I know where that is. Be there shortly. As I picked them up I apologised for the glitch. They understood. Mary works at a bank and husband is now a corn farmer. I told them about the lady that told me in Canada people have corn wars. Crazy. The farmer said yes it can happen if you’re not careful. If you’re trying to grow sweet corn and it’s non gmo, and your neighbor is growing gmo corn. The gmo corn will germinate the natural corn. How did that become so strong and dominate? That’s tough. After dropping them off it was time to think about finishing up. I thought about getting another trip by the airport. Nothing. Waited. Universe has spoken. I kept the APP on just in case. Almost home! Ping! Ethan 5 minutes away. I got with in 3 minutes of the guy and he cancelled. Darn. It would have been a 19 minute trip south.

Oh well till tomorrow.

Day 35

I arrived at the airport to see if I can get a ping. Yes Monday’s oh no matter what I do work related I will always hate Mondays. They just have a smell about them. They are menacing Mondays. It’s the day that will rip your head off and spit down your neck or rip your arms off and best you with the soggy ends. Who knows what torment you or even attack you. Actually I was born on a Monday. Although it was Labor Day. So it got a free pass. Yes I was born on a Labor Day. So many jokes. Your mum went into Labor on Labor Day. Fine there’s only one joke there.

As I looked at the airport queue there was at least 1-5 people in front of me. In fact I could see at least 2 of them. Damn these early risers. Ping! Wait hang on, that’s me! Haha peace out other uber drivers! My passenger. Not yours! Sarah. An Irish lass from Limerick. I told her my great grandfather was from Ireland. Sarah had returned from Vegas to see her sister. She was on her way back to Vancouver. Sarah was heading over to Australia in about a month or so. Told her she would love it. As I dropped her off I glared at the taxis ahead of me. I jumped out of the car and retrieved her bag for her.

Then there was Lockey. A former Western Washington Uni graduate. He was back visiting with his mates from Cali. All but one were reminiscing about their uni days. It made me think of Armidale. Had some wonderful times there. Made me miss those times. Heading up to the Stro on a Wednesdy night. Getting those Christian sausages coming back down the hill. Oh yeah the Christians would have a free sausage sizzle for the drunks. Bless them. Then in my third year they had free donuts. Not the bloody same. On a cold winter’s night a hot sausage and hot choccy was the most delightful gift from God you’ll ever see. Nothing but a hot bit of sausage in between a slice of bread covered in tomato sauce. A.k.a. ketchup. I think there were onions too. My first night at the Stro was to see a band called the Freestylers. I turned 18. I do not remember them at all. No one took photos, all I know is I had a great time and my mates carried me home. I still went to class the next day. Had a tutorial for ARCH104 Art and Society. My head was pounding. My head was on the desk when my professor came in and like Thor’s hammer, slammed his books on the desk. I moaned. Then he stated ahhh we turned 18 didn’t we? Yes I did. I don’t remember a bloody thing. Must’ve been a good night. Um I think so? Yes memories. Well what I can remember anyway.

After I dropped the former frat party off. I kept remembering simpler times. Then ping! VANESSA! On my way! She didn’t want to walk from the Dollar Tree. It was bloody hot, that’s for sure. Although it was only about a mile away. I took her home and on the way she told me she was from Canada and got knocked up by a Man Child. Basically an immature man. I wondered how immature he actually was? Did he throw temper tantrums when he didn’t get what he wanted? Perhaps he played with toys like hot wheels? Couldn’t get certain images out of my head including the boss baby from Looney Tunes. Maybe Warner Brothers was on to something? Poor lady having to deal with a smoking baby man.

I dropped her off and went back to the airport. More and more homeless people. I remembered reading an article about some panhandlers getting $100-$200 a day. Was thinking bloody hell. That’s pretty good, but to physically stand there? Maybe that’s why there’s different ones almost every day? Some are probably flying to the Caribbean living it up whilst I’m ubering to feed a 4 legged child. I’m doing this for you boy. Making sure there’s fresh kibble gracing that dog bowl everyday.

I went to the airport then POW! Leon! A bass player from Texas was in town to see his son and play in his band. He had played with a whole bunch of random bands I’d never heard of. Still he makes a living doing it. His bass wouldn’t fit in the boot, so it had to be the backseat. He wasn’t worried about it. He immediately grabbed a water from my center console and launched into his story from the plane having issues, he also told me back in the day he saw an AC/DC cover band that was all female, to when a bouncer pushed him by accident in that very setting and broke his neck. A freak accident because the bouncer was trying remove an unruly patron and he was in the way. He tried to sue the venue but it conveniently went bankrupt. That’s such a dodgy trick businesses do. Should be illegal. Poor bugger, but he was happy about life and wouldn’t change his life or pathway for anything. I dropped him off and noticed he forgot his water he opened and partly drank. I got out and gave it to him. He thanked me and said best not to waste it. He tipped me well. Nice chap. He did have those weird wireless Apple earphones. Yeah you know the ones.

I decided to hang out on Holly Street on the main drag. I was parked on the one side, when a Lexus passed me with music blaring. It wasn’t good music and the speakers were extremely popped. Come on man you’re not cool with popped speakers. I’m embarrassed for you.

Ping! Clive Owen was my next customer. Ha no! Just Owen. He was British and said he owns a construction company. He just came over from Melbourne, now on to Boston. He loved Australia. He said immigration was pretty tame also. He told me how friendly British immigration was and how his wife, an American was nervous initially, but then realized they weren’t American immigration border people. How inviting. British humour transcends all boundaries. He loved chatting with me and wished me all the best in my future endeavors. Cheers mate.

My app decided to not show my earnings after Owen. It was rather annoying because I wanted to see how far off my total I was. Ping! OK I’ll be there soon Aubree. She was off to work and was from Iowa initially. Grew up in a corn field. Well that’s what a gathered. She was sick to death of corn. I said surely there’s a difference between west coast corn to east coast corn. Or mid west corn? Nope all the same. I told her oysters from the east coast taste different to the west coast. I said not sure why it tastes so different. Maybe it’s the radiation from Fukushima? She said probably! Ha yeah damn radioactive oysters. Probably going to grow excessively and start eating cargo ships. Look out! Oyster on the starboard side! Captain full haul to port! Come on there’s gotta be a B grade movie made now! Then it shoots pearls at people like a machine gun. Tat tat tat tat! Brrrr! Pew pew pew! You have heard of Sharnado! Now get ready for Megoyster! The Pearly Gates! It Shell be the Apocalypse!

Then finally a future anthropologist, from Ethiopia. He said he was graduating soon and wanted to work for a social media company or Google. Yes anthropologists are being hired by these corporations to study people. It’s like marketing and analysis. Studying behaviour and cultural trends to boost client relationships. This in turn builds profits. Understandable. Us humans are very complex and extremely fascinating. We’re not all the same. We’re all individuals to a certain degree, but we do have similar goals. Survival being the main one. We chatted about archaeology a bit too, but his heart was definitely set. Go get em mate! He asked for my details. I said sure mate, I do have many contacts in Australia, Europe, the USA and Asia. I have met so many people and ubering has increased this exponentially.

322 people! Holy cow! Then my 4.99 rating returned to 5 stars. That 4 star rating didn’t win. Now if you give your driver less than 5 stars they have to say why? Feedback. Good! See screenshots.

Till Wednesday.

May the 34th be with you!

I had a VIP booking from Mike and Pam. Friends of Candy and Ari. The B’Ham friends I met at an Irish pub last year. They wanted me to pick them up, drop them off at their friends place and then take them into town for dinner and then drop them off downtown. Eventually picking them up and taking them all home. All cash in hand. In amongst all that pick up uber customers. The friends were obviously the VIPs. Priority over all of the others. In driving them around I would turn the app off.

After chatting for a bit I dropped them off at their first destination at a restaurant. Then I’d thought I’ll go up to the airport and see if I can get get any pings. On the way there I went through Bellingham when I saw a man in a beige flannel, white socks and black shoes and dark coloured shorts. He was wearing a Phantom of the Opera style mask, wearing a baseball cap and holding a steak knife. Hand holding the blade out in front of him. He looked angry. He was stomping up the hill on Holly street near the closing store of Rocket doughnuts. Um he looked dangerous. So for the first time in my life I rang 911. A lady answered immediately and I told her exactly what I had seen. She asked me many questions including if he was on the sidewalk, which direction he was going and what he was wearing. I told her everything I could. She thanked me and that police will be on the scene immediately. Great to know. Sure enough literally 5 minutes later Bellingham police Department rang me back. Was going to post a screenshot of my call history of the 911 call but it never saved in my call history. Wonder why? Maybe because it runs on a separate network. Does anyone know? I mean what if wanted that information in court or something? Bit strange. There is a call record of Bellingham police Department though. Top number in screenshot. They rang me and couldn’t find him. What the bloody hell? Where’d he go? Was it a joke? Was someone pretending? Whilst I was the phone dinner was completed. Didn’t pick anyone up that whole time just chatting with the coppers. Eventually VIPs contacted me. I went to go pick them up in downtown.

I told my VIPs the story they alarmed because that’s close to where I saw the knife wielding psychopath. I said well maybe he was just being a weirdo. Probably. As I dropped them off my night got extremely busy. I thought it was going to be a quiet night. The 13 other uber drivers were my competition, but they either didn’t work as much or it was just full on for everyone working.

My first new customer was Gabe a graphic designer from Seattle. He said I need to do a blog and go on a podcast. Um yeah I really should. He told me about NPR. Sounded cool. But can’t really remember what it was. Sounded like you work doing podcasts. Anyway he was so keen on me doing it he wrote it in my comments on the uber app. Nice fellow. He told me about how he would make less money in Bellingham as a graphic designer, but in Seattle you make bank. Nice one. After I dropped him off downtown he shook my hand firmly. He seemed excited to speak with me. Ha cool. I’m so exotic. 😏

Met 3 sheilas who were extremely nice. I told them about losing my job and asked me where my former employers office was. They couldn’t understand why I was fired. I told them roughly why. They said that’s no reason to get rid of someone. If you want something a certain way train, give input, guide and retain. It’s more expensive to a company to constantly hire and fire people. Yeah I believed them. One lady was honestly was a Jill of all trades, I told her and she loved it. Wants to put that on her business cards. Ha I said it’s a saying from Down Under. Jack of all trades is a dude with a lot of skills. Yep. One lady had just graduated and the third was a vagabond that had lived in the UK and was heading over Hong Kong. I totally forgot about the unrest over there. Could have said something. Now she might get caught in so.e scary crap over there. I’m sure she knows. After dropping them off they tipped me handsomely and wished me all the best in my future exploits. Cheers.

Gena was a military lady. She was the following passenger along with her mate x. Didn’t catch his name. She was from San Diego and was a delight in the car. An African American lady with such a refined vocabulary. I’d give you examples, but not right now. She told me she wanted to go to Australia. I told her she should and that her accent will give her a lot of attention down there. She said her husband wouldn’t like that. Fair enough. As I dropped the two off I caught her say I wonder if my husband can do accents? Strewth! I think I should start trying to do an American accent. I could be a bloody home wrecker if all I know. Eh I have tried and I sound like a game show host announcer or some person from the south. You know like Texas or apparently Alabama. She thought I was from Michigan actually at first over the phone when I was trying to find her. Then realised no I wasn’t.

Next customer lived all the way in Ferndale. Wow such a good fare. Long trip. Four passengers coming home from the Chrysallis. One guy knew I was Aussie, he said Gold Coast. I said that’s where I grew up. He apparently stayed there for a month at the age of 18. Loved it there. We chatted about the theme parks and the beaches, oh and sharks. He was cool. The ladies in the back invited me to paint their house on Sunday. The reward would be their single female friends. I feel like you’re a pimp and this is a weird TV show. I can see it now.

The Buck: next week on the Buck can this Bloke paint the house to the satisfaction of the owner? If he doesn’t he gets evicted from the house. If he succeeds he gets to date all the owners single friends at the same time. It’s like the bachelor but with real tasks. Watch our hero do an oil change. Then build a shed. But the ultimate task, build that blasted IKEA set that is missing 2 pieces. He wins a million dollars. Yeah it’ll happen on HGTV. Then they’ll make one called the Doe. Similar story except one lady and bunch of fellows. Yeah it’s basically the bachelor or bachelorette.

Next customer was Jesse a mental health professional. His car unfortunately broke down before going to work. Working on a Friday that must suck. Oh wait I’m working. He also said he does doordash and postmates. Fair enough.

Jo from IT another customer watches a lady stack it on the curb in her heels. Then Dan the real estate man. He normally fixes equipment at the refinery but wanted a change. I hear you brother.

Michael was next he works on skyscrapers in Seattle. Wants to become a helicopter pilot. Cool. His Australian accent was terrible. He wants to go there. Do it man, just leave the Australian accent to the professionals.

Heather was next. She works at Lowe’s. The hardware store not the mens clothing store in Australia. She wants a career change in ultrasound!

Next was Aunree. What an exotic name. Is it French? I hope I pronounce it right. I drive up to the club. AUNREE?? It’s Aubree. Uh OK interesting spelling. She looked. Oh I spelt my name wrong. That makes sense now.

Cain was next. He told me I should make the big time with uber. Maybe. He was my final customer until I had to pick up my VIPS. 2.30 am wow already made my quota and then some. My VIPs had a blast. Party animals. Anyway that’s it for now.

Here are some stats!

The 33rd day

After sitting around waiting and driving around trying to get a passenger I decided to ring uber to see if I was online and working. Just as the person on the other end went to check ping. Maddy. Okay here I come. As I progressed closer to her. Traffic light after traffic light a cyclist was in my way. I overtook her. So I could be ready go take my free right turn. Then knock knock. The cyclist was yelling at me. I’m not obliged to open my window. She had a nose ring. Could be a hooligan. Better not put my window down. After stopping I turned immediately to get away from her irate persona.

Then I went to locate my customer at the University. Nowhere to be found. Rang her. She tried to tell me but to no avail. I changed my position to help her. Nope. Eventually I told her to change her current position on the app so it was more convenient. The app was charging her wait time. Oh yeah I was still on the phone to uber because I was ranting about glitches and wondering if I can drive in another city. No I couldn’t. Only deliveries. Really? That sucks. Looks like Bellingham will be my bread and butter for a while. Meanwhile Maddy has changed her position. Finally! She apologised it’s her first time ubering. Oh OK understandable. She wanted to go the Amtrak station at Fairdinkumhaven. OK sure thing. She was registering for university. Nice she was studying theatre and teaching. Reminded me of my Uncle Dave who does that in Australia. I said drama teaching? She said yes. Any ancient history at all? No just English and drama. That sounds fun and dramatic.

Next customer was Paul. He sounded like he was from Boston. A retired FDA chap going to pick up his Audi 2003 model. Great year that’s when Penrith won their last Grand Final. I told him my grandfather is a retired pharmacist. He said he used to do that for a living. Wonderful. As dad used to say drug dealer.

Then ping another person from the University. Just be a few in town for O week. Greg. He was there with his daughter from Vegas. He works as a gambling official for the horse racing contraptions in the casinos. I guess it likes the TAB in Australia except automated. He doesn’t gamble personally, but is happy to to take people’s money. I said like s drug dealer, but doesn’t use. He said exactly. Ah yes economics. The daughter was going to be studying marketing. I said my mum used to be a marketing manager. She said that was cool and then I dropped them off at the Chrysallis in Fairdinkumhaven. Lovely resort overlooking the water. The man tipped me handsomely. Thanks cobber.

Sean! In Fairdinkumhaven. I picked him and his mates up from the Amtrak station. They just came from Portland via Seattle. First it was a train and then it was a bus. They really liked the train ride. Said I must do it one day. The fellows were in town to pick up a boat and charter it back to Portland. Holy cow. That’s a long bloody way. Hope the boat is seaworthy. One chap used to build railway carts the other two are firefighters. Oh by the way my app glitched and it told me their 4.9 mile destination was over 4962 minutes away. Screenshot attached. Crazy uber app. If only it had paid me that rate. When we got close to the destination Sean said hang a Roscoe here. What? Jeff are you channeling Sean? Jeff was a gent I worked with over at my previous employee. He would say hang a Louie or hang a Roscoe instead of left or right. Then at that moment Sean said now hang a Louie here. OK! Jeff stop it! I dropped them off and wished them all the best with their maritime adventure.

Finally Mavis a lovely lady from the bay area, who owns an IT company that deals with furniture. She was visiting her father. She asked me about my life as an immigrant. Oh boy opened up a can of worms there. She couldn’t believe the stories from my experiences. Yep and I’m a white fella from Down Under. She donates to charities who give to immigrants. Specifically church charities. Still better than nothing.

That’s all he wrote, until my fruitful Fridays. I’ll write that one soon there’s at least 14 trips and a VIP amongst them.

The 32nd day

It’s officially been over a month of Ubering and as I slowly make my way to my 300th trip. I reflect on what highlights that have been and gone. From Shane the Jeff Goldblum lookalike and talk alike to Treezy the California trip. What will I see next? Who will I encounter? The mystery is endless because people are fascinating, they’re also batshit insane, and downright weird. I mean from people who get upset on where a toaster should live (after use please move it from this shelf on top to the one directly below it, the one without a door? Yes. Um okay, why? To the ones that just that really want to spend the extra money on that registration plate. Yes as I’m driving through B’Ham MRSHBUG on the license plate. Is it Mr Sh Bug? Mrs H Bug or Mrs HB Ug or an acronym for something? I really don’t know and for some reason it’s irritating that the crap out of me. Finally I came to the conclusion it’s gotta be Mrs H Bug. Because it’s a Volkswagen bug and it appears to be a woman driving this vibrant red coloured car and appears to have a wedding ring on the left ring finger. As I drove passed I discreetly looked over. Not discreet enough both people in the car saw me and the mrshbug smiled. Eh hi. Really not what I wanted to happen. I’m not checking you out. I’m merely having a sticky beak at why you have such a trivial bloody plate.

After my face went bright red. Yes probably as red as that bloody car I got pinged by an Uber Eats customer. Wait hold on! I thought I turned you off? No somehow in a restart of the app at some point the damn thing decided reactivate this time wasting, petrol wasting part of the app. Great guess I’m going to Dairy Queen. As I walk into the building there’s people everywhere! Okay one person in my way. Fair dinkum, I’m not very patient am I? Eventually Speedy Gonzalez got out of my way. That’s what my grandad calls slow people. Funny coming from a man over 80, but honestly if I was his age I wouldn’t want to wait around for some slowish person buying a burger. In fact I don’t like waiting at all. I go up to the counter and say Uber Eats. The 6 foot 3 inch infant behind the counter says have you got a punch card? Um no I don’t come here very often and I’m not buying anything. He said oh it’s for the delivery drivers. Get 5 stamps and you get a free blizzard. What? Really? Damn you McDonalds where’s my bloody choc fudge sundae punch card? Cheap asses. Then the tall adolescent fellow said do you want a free drink while you wait? I replied to the man, yes please kind sir. I immediately went and dispensed a cool and refreshing Pepsi into the ginormous cup. Added ice. Dammit Pepsi everywhere. Always ice first, then liquid. It’s physics people. Glad no one saw. Oh wait a camera is suspended above me facing me on the adjacent wall. Lap it up security it’s the best you’ll see all day I’m sure.

Dairy Queen. You complete me and made uber eats slightly better. I picked up the food and headed to Jacksons house. Pulled up to the driveway. Typed I have arrived in the app. He comes out and he is but a child. Okay maybe I’m just getting old. He looked young okay, probably not his house or name. He apologized for me waiting. I honestly didn’t wait long. Only a minute or two. Nice kid. Here’s ya food mate.

I turned the Uber eats button off again. Let’s make some real money. Shawn. Here I come. How exciting who will this person be? Your rider canceled. Blast! Screw you Shawn. See if someone cancels within 2 minutes you don’t get paid. He had lightning fingers. Maybe he gave me 4 stars and realized it was me and thought oh no not him he will give me 3 stars. Yeah if I ever find out who gave me 4 stars you’ll be getting less stars from me. Call me vindictive, but hey I can be. I hold grudges, remember stupid comments and people who generally screw me over. I’m not perfect by any means, but I don’t go out of my way to bitch about someone behind their back or hire someone, give them no assistance and then fire them for bad work that was never finished when you said it was.

Then there was Leslie. The customer kindly wrote me their exact location wonderful. It’s so valuable. I went to go to the right location when a man gestured his hand to me and crossed the road. Excellent thanks Leslie I’ll pick you up on this side of the road. The bearded man kept walking. Damn that wasn’t Leslie. Oh look there’s 3 people in that location I’m supposed to go to on the other side of the road. Luckily it’s a one way street. Window down. Leslie? Yes that’s me. I told her about the mix up and apologized. Oh that’s okay was her response. She works at the registration office at one of the community colleges in town. She loves people and loves guiding people to get their certificates. Rewarding job. She told me she’s a Native American and that she gets racially profiled coming back from Canada every time. They think she’s Asian. Bloody hell. That’s disgusting and deplorable. She has more of a right to be in the states than anyone else. We chatted about all things immigration. She thanked me for the wonderful conversation. I was chuffed. Cheers. You too. She tipped me handsomely.

Then there was Guy and Reed. I had apparently picked up Guy before. Yep really don’t remember this repeat offender, but there he was trying to remember our last convo about archaeology. I told him yeah I remember. Pretty much a stuck record these days, so I just spewed out not sure if I want to do it anymore etc. Yep that was it. Then he told me how he used to work at Walmart. I said oh they just took down posters of violent video games. Reed in the back said oh stupid idiots. Bloody liberal blah blah. I was a little bit more diplomatic with my response, because guns can be fun, you just should have stricter laws to make it harder for psychological unstable from owning one. Maybe smaller magazines and licensing. They agreed as long as the can still have their AR to blow the head off a cockroach from 300 yards away. Um yeah sure dudes I’m allergic to them. Go right ahead.

Um then there was Beverly. She was from San Diego. Her and her husband were off for a pint at the local brewery. Yeah there’s 30 of them. Retired and living it up.

Finally there was Mary. An newly appointed Americorps volunteer. Reminded me of the movie Volunteers with John Candy and Tom Hanks. Hilarious. Tom Tuttle of Tacoma Washington. Great movie. She apparently doesn’t get to go overseas and help communities. Damn. Just does it locally. Fair enough. Dropped her off an Airbnb.

That’s all folks. Till yesterday.

Day 31th

After going through the car wash and getting rid of the dirt in my car it was time to Uber. I had missed ubering after 3 days of digging in another county. The physical nature of archaeology can take a toll. I’m constantly plagued with back pain and now my knee just pops out of nowhere. Getting old sucks. Oh yeah now my left wrist clicks constantly.

Back at it. After driving through the carwash in neutral. Yeah there’s a conveyorbelt that takes you through. Right at the end some guy shammies your car. I turned the app on. Ping! Wow that was fast. Josh was the man, as made my way to pick him up I noticed a trucking company called Bugga Inc. I chuckled at this and thought I wonder if they knew what that word was. Tempted now to start a company that is a derogatory term in Australia and bring it over to the USA as a household name, but what? As I passed the bugga truck I wanted to photograph it, but managed to get my own face. Okay bugga truck you win this round.

Now for my customer. I got a text saying he’s tall, in black and holding a backpack. Thanks mate. I got to the bus depot in downtown. On the corner I saw him, so I parked in the45 degree angle parking spot so I didn’t hold up traffic. I thought he saw me. Rang him immediately. No response okay. I’ll get closer. Powered my window down. Yelled. JOSH! He responded Uber? YEAH! He thanked me incessantly. How’s your day? His response surprised me a little. You’re the third Uber driver I’ve attempted to get here today. Really? Why’s that? As he sat down in my car I noticed some teeth missing and the overpowering smell of feet. He was in town from Marblemont to visit his aunt. Not ant. He said ant. Thought that’s a long way to travel to visit your tiny friend, don’t they have ants out in the mountains? Anyway he said he tried to get 3 different uber drivers and they never showed up. Weird maybe they judged him from a distance and cancelled or just didn’t make the effort. Am I the only driver that yells someone’s name when I drive up? It has fallen on deaf ears before. Yell out someone’s name and the person shakes their head or they have earphones in. Okay you’re not the droid I’m looking for.

Once I powered through the stench of feet. Josh apparently looked like a YouTube rap personality. Never heard of him and now I can’t even remember his name. He said it was annoying people would come up and ask for his autograph and he wouldn’t have a pen. Ah. All righty then. He said he should just start up his own YouTube channel. He talked about weed a lot and I mentioned it’s great for you guys now having it so readily accessible. (No it isn’t). (You probably need to stop). The guy was totally out of touch with reality, but then he tipped me. Well sir I honestly didn’t think of all the people in my car you would tip me, he even stated how clean and nice my car was. Okay dude you’re getting a 5 stars from me now. Because aside from the fact he was a pot head and smelled like feet. He was a bloody nice chap. The teeth missing didn’t bother me too much because hey teeth are expensive and hell it gave the man some serious character. Maybe you should start your own channel. I might even watch it in my underwear.

Next passenger was an underwear model. Okay no it wasn’t. It was a sweet old retired couple coming back from a family reunion in New York. Sounds like a great time. I still haven’t been to New York, but I really want to. It’s what I have imagined the USA would be since I was a kid. Gotham. Skyscrapers, a French statue holding an ice cream and King Kong. Not to mention a bloody great big park that is centrally located. Ha yes New York takes me back to Independence Day, Godzilla, the Phantom, did I mention King Kong and the Umpire of the State building. New York New York, start spreading the news….

This couple apparently use Uber a lot and get the same drivers, so they were surprised to meet someone different. They said one of their family members couldn’t make it. They have a family member that lives on the Gold Coast, QLD. on the Gold Coast, QLD. Fair dinkum this world is getting smaller by the minute. I told them I went to primary and secondary school there. We discussed their retirement and how the husband volunteers. How rewarding. You must get bored for you to do that. Yes was the response.

After dropping off the New York visitors. I went back to the airport, then ping! Tim was next. Got to the airport Tim I yelled. Woman shakes her head. Fair enough 🤣😂. Then near the shuttle bay, the customer was waiting for me waving. He was in town from Sacramento. On business. With his bag still not in Bellingham. Oh I hate when my bag decides to go on an adventure without me. Wonder who he meets along the way. “Hello I’m a duffle bag from Ouagadougou”.

Anyway Tim, an IT man helping the newspaper the Herald move. Yes the newspaper is downsizing. They had a whole building and now the Herald building will just have other businesses in it. Weird. It’s the 21st century and newspapers are downsizing, it makes sense though. You know that song video killed the radio star? Well internet killed the newspaper star. Bit of a mouthful though. The fellow discussed his next few days will be 12hr days. This paper is not owned by News Corp. Take that Murdoch you billionaire Aussie tyrant! Then the conversation went to property costs and how he is in the process of inheriting 10% of a $2.3 million property in the Bay Area. An inheritance broker tracked him down and said he was one of the heirs. Huh cool. I thought the state got that? He said he thought if no one was there to claim it he thought the Government got it. Nope. Imagine trying to track someone down for lost inheritance. Sounds messy and what if you get it wrong? Smith? I mean how many Smiths are there? Do they go on ancestry.com and follow the yellow brick road until they find a link? I remember I received a letter once saying I was the rightful owner of $25,000 in the post in Armidale, NSW. I rang the guy and he told me he had the right person. I rang my family and asked them about this so called inheritance. If it was in my email I would of thought scam, but this guy had my address and everything. I had only been there for 6 months. I looked online for unclaimed state money. Nothing came up. I looked up the man’s business name. Nope nothing. Hmmm…mmm…mmm he doesn’t exist spooky. So I determined it was a scam and moved on. I hope this guy’s inheritance is legit. Good luck mate.

Got a repeat offender in the car. As in the same customer as a few weeks ago. A Baker. Angelica.

Oh yeah speaking of scams three calls about my social security number. Haha they think I’m a citizen. Stupid robot. That’s how I know you’re not real.

Finally David pinged me. He was my last customer after a half day due to my archaeology paperwork I had to endure in the morning. I picked him up from the wharf. He looked like Eric Idle, but he sounded like Gene Wilder. He heard my Irish music playing and he got excited. He was born on St Patrick’s day. We had an in depth conversation about Irish whiskey, fighting with two British expatriates and how he lives at the tallest point of Bellingham. He really does. I’ll ad some photos of this marvelous location. I told him about my Irish heritage on my father’s side. Said we were descended from the first leprechauns, that’s why I wasn’t very tall growing up. Told him I’m an archaeologist by trade and then he mentioned Ancient Aliens. Oh God. No. Was tempted to drop him off in the middle of nowhere and say get a UFO next time. That stupid bloody show gives people an awful misrepresentation of archaeology. It shouldn’t be on TV at all. The people who are on and produce are sell outs. My customer still had some redeeming qualities though. He liked my music and had some great stories, but come on. Ancient Aliens no. We were going so well. It’s like you go to a seminar and it sounds great then it turns into a timeshare. We were doing so well! Then you hurt my feelings with your propaganda and traps. It’s like when you find out about a famous star or celebrity who you admire and then you find out they are into pedophilia. Yes that’s extreme, but someone needs to do a study on this. The same reaction in the brain when you just get disappointed. Is it the same level of disappointment as other situations? Famous celebrity is a pedophile vs your mate that you go hunting with or golfing with likes Justin Bieber, in fact even goes to his concerts. I mean it’s got to be the same shock value.

Till tomorrow.

The 30th Day

I wasn’t going to Uber on Wednesday, but after the interview I was oozing with confidence. I was sharp wearing a suit and my Penrith Panthers tie. Screw it let’s pick people up in style.

As soon as I hit the Bham! Ping. Valentine. Yep never met a Valentine. As in Valentine’s Day. She had nose piercing. You know the ones with a proper ring. The side of her head was shaved. Blonde. Tattoos everywhere. She was a hair stylist. Ah cool makes sense. I dropped her off.

Went back to the airport. Waited in my suit. Sharp, dapper and waiting. Nothing for a bit. Thought after that interview I’m kinda tired, night go home. PING! Okay guess I’ll drop you off and go home. Wait a tick. 78 minute trip! Nice. Going to get my money’s worth. What’s with me getting the unicorns? I mean that’s 3 in less than a month. California, Seattle and now Everett.

The gentleman’s name was Henry. A former doctor, his wife a former nurse. Both retired and visiting family. We discussed Trump, immigration, the healthcare system and gun laws. The thing that surprised me the most is that that both agreed that it should be a public health system rather than private. People can’t afford it. It’s true.

Henry was born in San Francisco from Chinese parents. I told him I went there a few years ago and that I was impressed with the China town there. I told him to go to Sydney Australia for some excellent yum cha. We discussed immigration. He stated that we are all immigrants in this country except for the Native Americans. Agreed. It was a delightful opportunity to have these two in my car. We chatted the whole way. More talkative than that Google person. I noticed the traffic heading back. Oh boy. That’s going to take a while. Henry noticed it too. Must be an accident. Yeah or just close to Seattle. We drove past the Boeing headquarters. Thought about my $50 shares I have with them through my Stash app account. They went up to $67 once then they had those issues with the plane crashes. They dropped to $53. It was a strange feeling. Money in people’s lives. I thought about my interview in the morning where will I be in 10 years? Archaeology has been tough lately. Digging for a pittance. Should be the name of a book. I’m not talking about one company specifically. I’m talking about America in general.

I dropped off Henry and his lovely wife. Enterprise rental car company. Henry tipped me in cash. Cheers mate! Wouldn’t mind knowing them for the long haul. But I didn’t. I was tired. I’d made my quota and then some. Makes up for the short days prior. Back to archaeology for three days. Oh boy!

On the way home I hit the traffic and spoke to mum, when email from my interviewers. Holy cow. Next Phase already.

Till Tuesday next week.

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