A drunken clown and a tired foreigner

Unedited text.

April. It was just half past midnight on a weekday. I was sitting on a post in Tapiola, South-East Espoo, when I got an order from a hotel nearby.

A gentleman in a suit, speaking in English, got on the ride. He looked pretty tired. You could tell he was actually fatigued in addition the alcohol intoxication.

The gentleman wanted to go to Itäkeskus behind Helsinki (about 23km/14,3mi). Before we got moving, some Finnish drunk clown jumped in the front seat and told me that we could start driving. I looked at him, surprised. I then looked at the gentleman in the back, as if to ask if he knows the man in the front. It turned out he did. The clown explained that he needs to talk to his friend, not wondering if the friend wants to communicate with his Finnish companion.

I asked the Finn, if he’s going to the same place as his friend. “Yeah-yeah, we’re going to a bar in Helsinki,” he assured me in complete confidence. He didn’t specify, which one, though. The friend was sitting in the back, looking out the window, uninterested. He didn’t seem to be particularly excited about the idea of the Finn, whose motor was running on alcohol.

The Finn started to summarize some meeting, which turned out to be a monologue. The English-speaking friend just nodded and answered yes to everything. The questions and statements which were complaints about their colleagues, he just ignored. It seemed like the Finn was hoping the foreigner would support his moaning.

On the Kehä 1 circuit, near the exit to Haaga, when we had been driving for about 10km/6,2mi, during a discussion between the two, it turned out the foreigner didn’t want to go to a bar with the Finn. He wanted to go home and rest. The Finn seemed disappointed of course. Then he realized he was going the wrong way. He told me right away that instead of going east, he needs to go west, to Kirkkonummi (about 35km/21,7mi).

I asked him: “How are we going to solve this problem? Do I let you off here and you get another taxi for yourself?” “Nooo, could you call for another taxi yourself,” the suddenly worried Finn asked. I told him “Sure I could, but we need to find a place a bit more populated. I can’t leave you in a random bus stop on Kehä 1 in the middle of the night.” I kept explaining: “First, no taxi driver could find you here and second, you could venture somewhere. I’m to blame for letting you roam free if something happens.”

After finishing my explanation, I took the next exit to Pakila and turned left to a gas station. I was hoping it would be open and I could call a taxi for the clown there, so I could continue the trip with my other client.

Shit, of course it was closed. Most of them close at 11pm-12am. It was already 1am.

So I left the station until I arrived at an intersection and stopped. I …


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!

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Many thanks in advance,

Tommi Topelund

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