I’m sorry, I’ve got nothing else to do with my time right now and telling people I’m writing gets me out of doing things.
When I got to England the train I was meant to catch was cancelled, along with all the others, due to some signal failing at its job to actually signal. Thankfully my friend has a profession that pays him in money, and he requested an uber which was gloriously generous enough but it also showed me something truly remarkable.
His uber rating.
It was 3.9.
Which for those unaccustomed to uber and it’s customer rating system might think is a pretty decent score (it’s out of 5).
Hitler’s would have been higher.
Drivers generally wont go near anyone with a rating lower than 4.5 (which I admit I fell briefly below, before I moved to LA and stopped drinking so much tequila), so it explained why we had been waiting for over half an hour for someone to pick us up.
When an uber finally did arrive, our driver admitted he hadn’t checked and would have cancelled if he had seen his rating. He did offer my now particularly sullen pal a crumb of comfort, by saying he had come across one person a year ago who had a worse rating, but he couldn’t confirm if they had a history of genocidal tendencies.
Have to say, I’m a big fan of this whole let’s turn the tables and rate the customer thing. Yes, it’s a little black mirror-ish and yes, it might have made me far too self-aware of my actions in the backseat of an uber (“Goddamnit it Will, you’re laughing too hard at his jokes. Don’t mess this up. It’s been a hard, long road to get back above 4.6 again. Just relax. And stop talking about fucking Lidl”) but people being shits to service industry folk deserve some comeuppance.
And by comeuppance, I mean just a healthy amount of psychological torment from the knowledge that even though people are being paid money to talk to you, they’re still finding it intolerable.
Perhaps the woman who took a crap on the floor at a fast-food restaurant in Canada recently, and started hurling it at the poor guy working behind the counter, would have thought twice about that if she knew she was going to ruin her excellent customer rating (which perks include use of the restaurants finest toilet paper)?
Who knows, but it’s something worth considering.
Speaking of shit news…
On the morning of my flight back to NYC, I was trying to record an audition for a job that would have catapulted me to the glorious heights of E list stardom, but the duvet I was hiding under wasn’t doing much to hold back the ‘are you really fucking serious, you’re doing construction now?’ noises from the apartment above, so I decided the best course of action was to wait for it to pass (it didn’t) and check my phone.
After scrolling past a bunch of apologetic texts from a friend that earned a careful response (“No need to apologise. Cocaine turns everyone into a twat.”) I saw the news that one of the few people in the public eye that I looked up to and felt in absolute awe of had taken his life.
Anthony Bourdain was a titan of humanity, intelligence and wonder. He was a breath of fresh air in this superficially saturated world, and his travel through life was immensely fun to be a spectator of. His raw delivery and sensitivity were incredibly inspiring; he was someone that didn’t seem to give a damn and just said what he felt. A characteristic I greatly admire from non shitty human beings.
Another one whose footprints in the sand will be achingly hard to see washed away.
“It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” – Anthony Bourdain.
Ok, over and out.
Until the next time, friends.
(Marvel style we’re not done with you yet…)
THINGS I’VE LEARNED ON THIS TRIP
I have a love hate relationship with fellow tourists. I hate it when I’m around them, and I love it when I’m not.
If the only phrase you know in Italian is “bello bambino” (translation: “beautiful child”. I learnt it when I visited Italy as a kid. I peaked at 7 years old), best not share that fact with the locals unless you want some very odd looks.
Whatever seat I’m assigned to on a plane, there will be a crying baby within a couple of feet. I get it universe, you don’t want me to have children. Let’s move on.
Lidl in Italy has the best deals around.