Pearl’s Perspective – Part 2

It’s been over a week since our last “trip with strangers” and I was beginning to think that the experiment was over. Was it just a one week wonder? Not so much.

Yesterday we took several more trips and we met some really cool people and heard some really cool stories. But one particular trip stands out – and not in a good way.

It started out as the perfect trip – picking up two new people EXACTLY where we dropped off the previous three. “It doesn’t get much more efficient than that!” my travel buddy exclaimed.

“We want to go to the waterfront!” said the woman with an exotic accent.

“No problem! I’ll take you straight down Church, I know a great spot.”

Ten seconds later is about when we realized this may not be a typical “trip with a stranger.”

“Oh but we want to stop for smoothies first, do you know a spot on the way?” – where is she from anyway?

After a quick Google search we found one nearby (not on the way) and off we went. I’m not quite sure if this smoothie shop was out of fruit and had to wait for someone to run to the store or if it was the busiest smoothie shop in town but it took nearly 20 minutes for them to come back.

Slurping unapologetically.

Well, that was a little frustrating but off we go to the riverfront!

Now by this time it is after 5:00 pm and traffic is picking up quite substantially. We are almost there when we reach 8th Avenue South. *Cue doom and gloom music*

I could see his lips tighten a little as the anxiety began to creep in. We are coming up on one of the busiest streets during rush hour and we have to turn left. With no light. I’m convinced that my buddy has been a taxi driver in Asia as he has mastered the art of cutting through congested intersections. We made it across and now on the home stretch of our trip.

“Oh there is the famous guitar shop!!” – Australian douche bag.

“Make a U-turn, mate. We have to stop and look around!” – same douche bag.

“Oh, you aren’t joking!” – half sarcasm, half shock.

“No, he’s not joking, haha! We have you for the day, right?” – her accent is sounding less exotic and more annoying by the second.

So we turn around. On the busiest street that we somehow managed to cross to turn left 10 seconds earlier. Did I mention that traffic is only getting worse?

Another 30 minutes later we attempt the same death-defying left turn. A turn that we should have only done once – 30 minutes ago.

As we approach our destination, smoothie girl answers her phone. “Howdy y’all from Nashville, Tennessee!” For the next five minute stretch she attempts (horribly I might add) to throw in as many southern sayings as possible to impress whoever the hell was on the other line. It was excruciating.

It was as if she realized her chances of being the most annoying passenger in the entire world was coming to a close. It was the full court press, the last ditch effort to win the prize.

We pull up on the spot by the river as promised. The look on his face was priceless. It said, “Why did I do this today? I should have went for a run instead.” I’ve seen people give cash tips so I hoped for his sake they would have the decency to compensate him for the many inconveniences that this trip brought us.


They thanked him for the ride and continued about their day. They might have been the worst passengers so far (including the “Vom Queen“) but at least we had something to remember them by.

Empty smoothie cups. Of course they did.

Until next trip,

Pearl Altima



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