Notes From the Van

I used to drive a share-ride van to and from the airport. It’s a somewhat unique part of the customer service industry: you can talk someone anywhere from fifteen minutes to a few hours. I met people from many walks of life; also, as we served local universities, I got mini-seminars in different sciences, theology, literature, justice—all kinds of things. Some of these conversations were memorable.

Take the Airline Confirmation Number Personality Test

So you’re trying to spell out a confirmation number into a cell phone, and to make sure there are no mistakes, you say words that begin with each of the letters. There’s a standard one the military uses, something about Foxtrots and Tangoes (what’s up with NATO and ballroom dancing?), but you don’t really know …

Posted in Notes From the Van | 2 Comments

Colliding Metaphors

She was a gregarious young white woman, early 20’s, a brunette pixie out from the midwest to visit her boyfriend. She sat directly behind me, the only passenger; she asked me when we’d arrive and called her boyfriend to let him know. Then we had a lively, if not deep, conversation. At one point she …

Posted in Notes From the Van, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pee Bitch

I picked her up at a low-rent apartment warren in Kent: she was in her 50’s, Hispanic, short, round features; the years had marked and weathered her, but she had an impish vivacity that made age moot. She sat in the first row of the van, the first passenger on a Yellow 2. (“Yellow 2” …

Posted in Notes From the Van | 2 Comments

The Difference Between the Germans and the French

Several years ago, I had a German woman riding shotgun on the van. She pointed to my coffee cup and said, “In Germany, we don’t have cup holders in our cars. We feel that drinking coffee will distract you from driving.” I thought about it and said, “That makes sense—you’re doing 180 on the Autobahn, …

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Leave a Reply