Last week I had to go to Los Angeles for a quick trip. When I arrived, there was a slight issue with my rental car, and since I was exhausted from the 3 flights it took to get there, I opted to simply take a taxi to my hotel, and figure out the driving situation later.
The next morning I woke up rested and ready to take on LA! I had a busy day planned, and was excited to get to my first destination, the nail salon – my nails were in major need of TLC.
When I stepped outside of the hotel, sitting on the curb was an angry man. I smiled and said good morning, to which he replied, “Yeah. Real good. I have been waiting 20 minutes for a taxi. LA is awful. There are no cabs anywhere, takes them forever to pick you up, and the drivers aren’t very nice!”
His huff was loud and intentional, as he got up and said he was going back inside. He couldn’t deal with waiting anymore. My heart broke a little for him.
Moments after he disappeared into the hotel, a taxi pulled in the lot. I asked the bellman if we could try to get the man that was waiting. He called up to his room, but the man declined the cab. I eagerly hopped inside to a friendly driver named Ashmul. We began to chat a bit, he told me about his love for music, I told him about my love for writing, and all in all it was a very pleasant ride.
I told Ashmul of my schedule while in town, and asked him if he knew distances between my stops and approximate fairs. He told me the roundabout cost, and then happily said, “I will be your driver! You just call my cell phone as you are ready to be picked up, and I will be there in moments to get you.”
I was excited at the prospect of not having to wait 20 minutes to get picked up, and of course, the fact that Ashmul was friendly. I agreed, grabbed his card, and went to stop #1.
While getting my nails manicured, Ashmul came back in to the salon. He apologized for interrupting (totally unnecessary, but very gracious), and said, “I’m afraid I overestimated your next cab fair. I looked up your destination, and instead of $30, it should be just $20. I wanted to let you know.”
A huge grin came across my face, and I thanked him repeatedly for letting me know. I looked at my manicurist, Kim, who had recently moved to LA from Korea, and said, “Oh my gosh, he is just so nice!”
She innocently said back, “Because you are so nice, he is so nice back. You are nice to him. He is nice to you. That’s the way the world works…”