Until recently, I didn’t know the beauty of Uber Pool. Today I took my 5th Pool ride. I have got co-riders on 3 rides only.
Generally, I put on my earphones and stealthily look into my co-rider’s phone just to make up scenarios in my head as to what the person does in life. Today turned out to be bit different – the driver couldn’t understand the accent of my to-be-co-rider so handed over the phone to me. After much difficulty, I could understand her location and pick her up. As per my guess, she turned out to be (Southeast) Asian.
“Home, here I come,” or, so I thought! I was travelling from Baner to Viman Nagar, and as my fellow Puneites might know, it takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. My co-rider’s drop as per the GPS was at Koregaon Park. So we had a long way to enjoy the ride together. Also, the route is quite beautiful, especially during this season.
As soon as we reached her location, she realised this is not where she wants to go! Moreover, she didn’t have anyone to call and ask! Now, you see I was the mediator between the driver and her, so finally when we were able to figure out her destination, we had lost half an hour, and the traffic had doubled. Off we went to her destination and we bonded on the way. She told me she has left her accountancy job in China to come here to learn Yoga! She asked me if I do Yoga, sheepishly I said ‘sometimes’! Meanwhile, the driver was bugging me to tell her to get down and book another Uber. But then, I didn’t want to leave her stranded. We finally found her destination and dropped her.
I was overwhelmed and taken aback by her gratitude towards me. She hugged me tight, kissed me and wished me best of everything! I was happy to see a visitor to our homeland leaving with a smile.
Now, her ride got over at her ‘wrong turn’ (read: destination), so when the driver stopped the ride, it was my ride that stopped and I was charged INR 533 instead of INR 169!! Uber, please return my money! 🙏
Anyway, I know I’ll get that back. The amazing part of this trip was discovering that goodness and humanity still exists in this world. The driver was a good man – he just wanted her to take another cab considering I’m getting late, yes delayed I was – my journey took 2.5 hours! The driver told me everything about himself on the way home, he was good enough to cancel all the rides that Uber was sending him. And as an agony aunt, I advised him to do a lot of things. Take his number from me, in case you require rides around and out of the town, apparently Akshay Kumar is his friend!
It’s been a happy and satisfying day, today. And Lau, if you ever come across this article, you’re lovely and courageous to venture out alone in an unknown country, more power to you!