In the cab she quickly tells me she had already been accosted twice by strangers, just off the bus, and wanted nothing more to do with St. Paul: “Please take me to the nearest – safe – hotel,” she commands. Well right then and there I figure if I start telling her some wild story about having to deliver this blood first, she’s not going to trust me, and so I figure the Holiday Inn is only a couple blocks away, I’ll drop her off first.
Well, the Holiday Inn was completely booked and now I’m worried that some patient in need of a blood transfusion is going to die before I get there, so I spill the beans to her and she says that’s fine, let’s deliver the blood first. When we get to St. John’s they literally have the elevator door held open to rush the blood up to where it’s needed. Good thing I hadn’t tried a second hotel first.
Well by now we’re talking quite a bit – she’s a school teacher from Australia taking an around-the-world trip, first a boat to Seattle and now cross-country to New York – and I’m giving her the low down on places to stay saying St. Paul isn’t all that bad. By the time we get to the downtown Radisson, and I’ve told her about the Carousel Restaurant on the top floor with a view, she says “What time do you get off duty, will you join me for a drink?”
“I’m off in an hour,” I tell her – which is technically true because back in those days you just kept 45% of what was on the meter and you could pick however many hours you wanted to work.
I quickly turned the cab in and couldn’t wait to get back to my new friend. Once I hear all her details and she mine (it’s really all just clothes in her suitcases – enough for 80 days), I offered she could stay at my place to save money and then tomorrow I would help her pack one suitcase to ship back to Australia by Yellow Freight to lighten her load and be quicker to the cab stand. She stayed a week. We had a wonderful time. Showed her all the great places in St. Paul. Hardly had time to drive my cab for all our cavorting. Got postcards from around the world for the next 80 days.
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Checked by AVG – www.avg.com
Version: 2013.0.3462 / Virus Database: 3658/6913 – Release Date: 12/12/13