The taxi cab drivers in Dublin make a good first impression. This week I was on a short business trip to Waterford via Dublin. I used five different taxis during the week and all five drivers were chatty, cheerful, charming, and Irish born. I wonder what they teach them in taxi driver school? Now I did ask if I could sit shotgun ( in the front passenger seat) each time and I wonder if that action of solidarity helped bring out the best in them. There was much to be impressed about, not least of which was their ability to grumble about the economy, politicians, the English, the EU, the price of beer, etc. with such a cheerful disposition you hardly realized they were complaining. I was also impressed by their use of proverbs/metaphors such as: I figure that if you are dealt a lemon you should make lemonade. More could be said, but I think they’d get embarrassed if I was too lavish in my compliments.

On the other end of the spectrum are Russian taxi cab drivers. Granted, I don’t speak Russian and I only had 10 Russian taxi experiences over a 5-day period in Moscow… and many of them were undoubtedly unofficial taxi cabs. BUT… the contrast between the friendliness of taxi drivers in Dublin and the grouchiness of taxi drivers in Moscow is beyond words… at least beyond polite words. I wonder if anyone has tried to export Irish Taxi Driver Schools throughout the world like they’ve exported Irish bars? Certainly Moscow could use a few.