The Uber experience continues. Met a Kurd who was very frustrated with what was happening near his homeland, centered between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. He was accusing the Turks to be barbarians and quoted an incident where a boy who was stopped by the Turkish police(?) and asked what language he spoke. When he said Kurd, these men cut the boy’s tongue off saying no one should speak kurdish. The entire trip from Millbrae to San Mateo, he was lambasting the barbarism of humankind in general and even went on to comment of the situation between India and Pakistan. He and I agreed that religion is the worst thing mankind has created. While bartending at night paid him more, Ubering wasn’t really contributing much as his maintenance and Uber’s 25% fee was taking the bulk of his driving income.
The Palestinian was just getting by work as an actor. He was getting mostly one-off request to use his photographs in paper advertisements and was disappointed that there was no recurring fees from such deals. He was hoping to get a commercial on TV that would run for a few years and thus after his participation he would just get steady income from that opportunity. I mentioned to him the recent show on HBO that was highlighting the craze of white skin in China and how white people were taking up modelling there even posing as medical professionals delivering nonsensical speeches to Chinese delegates who didn’t understand English. They would read of scripts and pose themselves as staff from Univ of Virginia or some such known university.
The African-american elderly women seemed to have the best strategy trying to get most of her business after evening from the airport. Her argument was that from airport the distance driven would be longer and the fare correspondingly sizable. I suggested that she also look out for Monday mornings and afternoons to catch the business traveler. All of them pretty much complained about the high real estate prices and prices in general in the bay area and how unaffordable it is to the common man who aren’t in high-tech firms.
A few of the other drivers I met were all Ubering as a second job. Many have a night job and use the day to make some additional money. Some young people Uber right after work and these are people who work in offices in the area. The Indian from New Delhi had given up his taxi job and resorted to Uber as the taxi business had gone down quite a bit. According to him a lot of other taxi drivers had taken the same path. This guy was driving his car a lot like a cab – accelerating and changing lanes way too fast. A bad habit that had stayed with him from his years of driving.
Ubering is going strong in the bay area and in California. In Pennsylvania, it is hardly picking up. I tried to find a Uber last weekend, and the wait was 20 minutes. In contrast, today at San Mateo, I requested a Uber and the guy was just across the street. I just didn’t notice him and was looking all around based on the map and the location it showed. Apparently GPS isn’t as precise as it is meant to be.