Lost in California


Tonight I visited a friend for a dinner consisting almost entirely of cheese, then ordered an Uber to take me home. Almost all Ubers are Toyota Priuses (Prii? Pria?) driven by people of indeterminate identity (the pictures just aren’t that clear). Tonight, I had Winnie, who was a person wearing a baseball cap, driving a Prius. I had the joy of watching him on my screen, making his way towards me.

The car drew closer and closer to my friend’s house. Then it drove on. Then it took a long loop of the neighbourhood, approached the house again – and then vanished. The app told me to try to book with a different car.

I tried. I got Winnie again, now driving as fast as possible away from the house.

He turned and came back, then drove down the road past the house, and cancelled the booking again.

I thought about rebooking again, to see what I could inspire Winnie to do this time. Would he park up outside the house but refuse to let me into the car? Would he drive in ever increasing circles until he collided with the Bay in the Bay Area? Would I ever get back to the hotel?

No. Winnie was gone. Instead, I got Ruben, who drove me in a Toyota Camry, a most unrepresentative vehicle, all the way back to Palo Alto, back to my hotel, where I was ready to crawl into bed and sleep the sleep of the innocent again.

Long day. Long night. Night night.


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