It could have gone very badly. My rider was not where she said she’d be. It was very hot, and a busy day in UberLand. I was flustered. I paused by the side of the road and used the app to text the rider. She responded that she was on her way.
She got in the car, blonde, flushed and hot. “I’m sorry” I said, “The app told me you were here” “It’s okay” she said tight lipped.
I sighed. We were both on the verge of losing it. Yes, I could do the eleven-minute ride in silence. But that wouldn’t be especially good for either of us. Plus, ratings.
So I said “Do you remember the French film Diva?” She looked at me in the rear-view mirror, puzzled. I guessed correctly that we were of a similar age.
“Yes” she said, “I do”.
“Well, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack again recently and it’s been making me happy”. I said “Would you like to listen to a bit?”
“Yes” she said “I would”
The glorious opera music filled the car and we both exhaled.
With her head leaned back, eyes half-closed, she said “My sister and I went to see this movie. We got absolutely rat-faced and were speaking French to everyone, with particular attention to the naughty words”
“Well done” I said.
The air-conditioning and music had done its job.
“Thank you” she said, meeting my eyes in the mirror.
“Thank YOU” I said, meaning it.
She got out of the car.