There are certain people who are enjoying the recession - one friend of mine a case in point. He is never happier than when having a moan and the current mess has given him extra scope for ranting.
Taxi fares are a recurrent theme that bring him to boiling point.Personally, I have no problem with taximen. I have mostly been blessed with pleasant drivers who take me from A to B without cause for complaint. It is also an excuse for me to waffle on without being cut off as I so often am from those who know me better.
Being from the outer Fingal county area, Nightlink buses are non-existent Monday to Friday, with Iarnrod Eireann pulling the plug on party plans at 11.25pm...This leaves taxis as the only remaining option for those who dare venture into the city midweek.
Even on the weekend their expense is more appealing than braving the horrors of the 'Nightmare' or Fightlink'. Luckily this is no longer a problem for me, now that I am city centred. Other friends have also relocated, weary from years of stumbling into taxis alone to embark on a forty minute journey so ridiculously expensive it is only ever contemplated with alcohol on board.
The decision, of course, always regretted the next morning when you wake €55 the poorer. My ranting friend lives in Skerries but regularly joins us in town. Never one to be ripped off, lately he has bargained his way home for a cheaper price by skulking along the ranks till he finds a taxi willing to accept whatever fare he can get on these now quieter streets of Dublin.
Sometimes it takes him longer to find an obliging driver but he has been ferried home for an average of €35 in recent weeks. Last Thursday he joined us in town for a few drinks and started his usual tirade of abuse against the city's taxis and how they had ripped us off for so long. He smirked that tonight he had done one better and wouldn't need their services at all.
He had found a hotel room in one of Ballsbridge's finest establishments for an unbelievable £31 with TWO double beds. If he had three more to share with, it was better value then the last train home. It was just himself for tonight though, satisfied that he had outsmarted the taxi trade... Of course with all his moaning he missed the cheapest option of all. He could have stayed on our couch, no charge and with a free breakfast thrown in.
There was even a lift down to Skerries the next day.