"Everyone knows London's black cabs, those nostalgically shaped icons of the city. As one of the terrifying examiners of the stringent Knowledge exam put it, they've earned their reputation for honesty and reliability and They Know Where They're Going. And they're ubiquitous, until you actually need one.
When we arrived in South London recently we hoped to spot a taxi when we left the tube station, but of course there were none. Hasn't every visitor to London left a tube station they thought they knew by a different exit and found themselves thoroughly lost? So there we were, wondering if we could spot something familiar. We finally started walking along a street with our suitcases, hoping it was the right direction, and after a few minutes there was the longed for sight - a black taxi. No driver it's true, but as the car was parked outside a Sainsbury's Local we decided not to let him get away. After a few minutes the driver appeared, his lunch in a bag. Could he possibly take us...?
'Sorry, I'm not working - just having lunch.'
'Maybe you could just point us in the right direction, we're a bit lost?'
'We're looking for Lucien Road.'
'But that's where I'm going, I live there! Hop in and I'll give you a free ride!'
'Really? We need number 66.'
'You're joking! Are you the people from Switzerland my neighbour told me about?' -
Sometimes lost turns to very much found! What a lovely start to our holiday. If we ever need a taxi in London again we'll try to get hold of a certain Neville from Lucien Road, we owe him one!"
View Bea's home swap offer in Niederuzwil, Switzerland and Sandra's home in London where Bea stayed with husband, Kas, on a home exchange this summer (see the post, 'Touting Tooting' and tips from a wonderful summer home swap in London).