It was an uplifting Friday evening in January. No clouds in the sky, the stars were shining like reflectors in a dark blue ceiling. About half a meter of snow was on the ground, if not more. The temperature was winter-like, dropping to -20 degrees Celsius at night.
Work-wise it was pretty calm until midnight. There were clients, a bit of driving but nothing crazy.
While driving towards Kauklahti1 in West-Espoo. I thought I would drive my round until I have the next hundred in my register. I was missing about 20 euros. I just needed one keikka to finish my round.
I noticed on the Data that there is a fare in Kauklahti. It had been there for a while, ordered about half an hour earlier. I decided to take the fare since I was driving there anyway.
I took it. I entered the address to the navigation system and saw that I “only” had about 12 kilometers to go.
I don’t know how the navigation system directed me but soon the 12 kilometers had become 19. It turned out that the client was in Gumböle2 not in Kauklahti. About a kilometer difference.
I arrived the correct spot in Gumböle – on a dark forest road, next to it a few houses. Fortunately the client had already exited the house so we found each other easily.
The customer was about 25 years old, a bit chubby and had glasses. He wanted to go from his friend’s house to Järvenperä3, another place in the middle of nowhere. I had to drive about 10 kilometers towards north-east. The guy was silent and calm and we had no problems driving with him.
I took the citizen from Gumböle to Järvenperä and decided to drive south, back to Kivenlahti4, my “home”. It is closer to civilization and safer than driving in the woods of Järvenperä or Gumböle. On the way, about 6 kilometers away, was the Espoo center where it was more than likely to find another client.
About 3 kilometers from the Espoo center I got a new fare. It was from …tie. My boss had mentioned some time ago, to never take a customer from that address but I had not remembered that at 6 am.
I took the fare, thinking to myself that it was probably some old lady trying to get on a train, bus or a nursing home.
Arriving at the destination I saw a one-story building with a gable roof and barred windows made from bricks. It was like a little shop from the 80s.
I stopped in front of the house, in a yard with gravel, about 6-7 meters from the front door. There was no movement for the first few minutes. I was just about to leave when I saw someone waving to me from the door. I didn’t see exactly who it was. So I waited for a few more minutes until two quite chubby guys and a smaller guy came. The trio was drunk, naturally, and properly drunk. I was thinking to myself “shit, this keikka is what I needed. I just had to take ONE more. Well now I got it”.
The fellows came out of the hut one by one and tottered to my car. One big guy and his smaller friend got in the back and the other big guy sat in the front seat. With them the car was instantly filled with stupid conversation and the stench of alcohol.
When I asked where they would like to go, they said Viherlaakso5, which was about 5 kilometers to the east. “Shit, this is just what I needed – to go on an adventure in the middle of fucking nowhere – to end my round,” I thought to myself again.
On the way to Viherlaakso the company reconsidered and decided to go to Tammisto6 district in Vantaa7 (from Helsingi about 20 kilometers towards north-east). I had no idea where it was. When asking the guys for the exact address, no one knew – they just told me to drive to Vantaa, towards Tikkurila8. “Sorry guys, I’m just a beginner, maybe you can guide me. Even better if you could give me the address,” I explained to them.
Piece of Vantaa. Photo: http://ds-lands.com/photo/cities/vantaa/01/
They gave me the address and the navigation system told me that the destination is 17 kilometers away. The beginning of this fare gave me a funny feeling that this was going to be an interesting drive. And it was.
The fellows promised a big tip if I took them there. They were talking about hundreds of euros. I didn’t make much of it because it sounded ridiculous. I just thought “yeah-yeah, just some big mouths”.
After an annoyingly loud trip we were turning off Kehä 38 to Myyrmäe9, a district of Vantaa, my navigation system decided to die. It had happened before but not like this – early in the morning with this kind of company in this kind of place. I had 5-6 kilometers still to go.
Kehä 3 motorway. Photo: author.
I asked the guys, disturbing their “intellectual” conversation, if someone could guide me, that the navigation system had died. Nobody heard me. I turned the volume way up and yelled to the drunken company “HELLLOOOO?! Does anybody know if we should take this exit or continue on this road?”
To that, the loud conversation stopped. Every man was trying to see through the frozen window where we were exactly to answer me. One fellow then asked “Where are we anyway?” All I could tell them was “On Kehä 3 but does somebody know where to go?” The car was quiet for a moment and then the guys started discussing where they could be.
Since I had just missed the Myyrmäe exit sign, nobody knew where we were and how should we continue. One of the fellows proposed to drive ahead, another one didn’t quite agree with that plan and thought that we should have turned to Myyrmäe. The third guy didn’t have any ideas.
I stopped the car at a roundabout after the exit and announced resolutely “I am not driving anywhere until someone gives me directions.” The discussion continued if we should drive ahead or turn back or take the exit. Nobody had any idea where we were. It was -25 degrees and a few meters of snow outside and everything was just white all around us. All I could say between their discussion was “We had a deal that you would guide me but now we’re fucked.”
The big guy in the backseat thought that the big guy in the front should have directed me the whole time. This guy just laughed and said “I have no idea how to get to …tie.” To that the third, little guy, looking through the back windows and carefully evaluating the situation, had an idea to make a U-turn. In the middle of the highway. I asked “How should I do that, being on the highway with 4 driving lanes and a metal bar separating the opposing lanes?” He realized that it would take a pretty complicated maneuver to pull that off. He then suggested driving until we get to a hotel. I asked if he knows if there is a hotel and where. He didn’t know for sure but thought there was bound to be a hotel somewhere. I said “Maybe there is one in the next 100 kilometers but we are not going to drive that far.”
The guy sitting next to me decided that he would like some beer in this situation. The other big fellow then commented that they haven’t got any beer but a bit of cocaine wouldn’t be bad until we figure out where to go.
After he finished his sentence he pulled a baggie full of cocaine out from somewhere and asked me if I want some too. I looked at the backseat to see what the guy was doing and if he really had cocaine. To my surprise, he did. The man had a baggie of about half a kilo of white powder, into which he had already poked a knife. Seeing that I could only say “What the fuck are you doing?! Are you a fucking idiot?! Put that shit away! You are not going to use that in …
You can read the end of the story from the book “The Diary of Taxi Driver in Finland. Part One” with about 100 stories for just 2.99!
And if it’s not too much to ask, please leave your comment or put a Like on my book page on Amazon after the reading.
Many thanks in advance,