Saturday, December 20, 2008


Life. I very seriously thought that we might lose our lives today. We had a very frightening and bizarre experience. We are here in Chicago, visiting family. We grabbed a cab to head from Aj's cousin's condo downtown to my brother's condo in Lakeview. A cab ride that should have taken - oh maybe 15 minutes.. seemed to last an infintessimal amount of time. We found ourselves passengers in..
The Hell Cab.

Things started out pretty scary. The temps were freezing.. the roads were wet/slushy.. there was a bit of snow flurrying in the air. We piled into the van-cab: Aj, Mike, Maya, Devika, and myself. Hell-Cabbie immediately pulled out and accelerated well past the maximum speed limit. We flew down Lakeshore Drive - weaving in and out of traffic - creating our own lanes at times in median and side-of-the-road areas. There were several times that I thought we were goners. If you know LakeShore, you know that there really are NOT median or side-road areas. Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous. I glanced at my brother, seated next to me, and he gave me a somewhat startled and anxious eyebrow raise. I double-checked Maya's seatbelt and my own, and held Devika to me as tightly as humanly possible.

After turning off of Lakeshore, Hell-Cabbie decided that he did not want to wait in a normal queue for a red light, and veered around another cab - cutting him off and almost side-swiping him. Immediately the other cabbie honked.. and then.. all hell broke loose.

Hell-Cabbie began speeding up and slowing down, as did the other cabbie. They continally tried to cut each other off and cause an accident - running at least one red light and probably terrifying every other driver on the road. During this chase scene, Hell-Cabbie had his window rolled down and was literally SCREAMING at the other cabbie (who also kept stopping next to us and screaming out HIS window) - racial slurs and curses - screaming at him that he was a terrorist and he needed to go back to his own country. He began cursing Pakistanis, etc (um, hello, Indians in the cab!!). He barely watched his crazy driving, as he had his head out the window screaming and evil-laughing, "HIT ME! THAT'S RIGHT #%$#% HIT ME NOW! HIT ME HIT ME! I'LL KILL YOU! TRY TO KILL ME! I"LL KILL YOU NOW! HAAHAAHAAAAAAAA!!". My brother and I were seated directly behind him and began asking him to pull over and let us out. He ignored us - too busy screaming expletives, threatening, and making obscene hand gestures at the other cabbie.

Finally, after several blocks and extremely near-misses (he kept slamming on his brakes and gunning the accelerator in order to try to cause an accident).. the other cab was behind us and turned off at an intersection.


I tell you.. that was one of the scariest experiences I've had - especially as we had the girls with us, and Devika wasn't restrained. Maya was barely restrained, as she is much too small for a normal seat belt. I was literally shaking by the time he stopped in front of my brother's building.

We took down his cab # and reported him.



Peter and Nancy said...

Well, THAT will definitely be a Christmas memory you'll never forget. Oh my goodness!! I'm glad you all came out of it safely -- what a bizarre thing. And we all thought our cab rides in Kolkata and Delhi were dangerous!
-- Nancy

The Pfeiffer Family said...

YIKES!!!! That is scary!!! This makes the driving in India look so calm. I am happy you made it safely to your destination. You probably won't forget this ride for quite some time. I hope this driver gets disciplined before somebody gets hurt! April :-)

Our Family said...

Oh, that is so scary!!! Good thing you got his cab number.I am glad you got to your destination,SAFE.I can't imagine how you felt.I would have been shaking in my shoes,sweating.That driver needs to retire and take some nerve pills.Gidget

A and Z said...

Holy Smokes! Wow. I went to college in Chicago and Lakeshore is scary enough as it is!!

Also I totally relate to the pediatrician thing. Zaleeya is sick AGAIN!