Over seventy three million passengers passed over the threshold of the second busiest station in London, Victoria, in 2011, just placing after Waterloo. This works out to an average of just under one and a half million travellers per day. Chances are, most of these people will hop on another train, perhaps take a scenic view through the city on foot, or adopt an alternative mode of transport for the rest of their journey. There are some, however, that opt to travel in just a slightly more stylish mode of transport. If you’re one of these, then you’ve no doubt experienced the taxis in Victoria. It seems that there is something quite superior about riding in a chauffeured car compared to sharing a train carriage with members of the public whom you’ve most likely never encountered before, nor will you ever again. Of course, they are not your personal driver for the day, but because of the high level of comfort and incredible attitude that you can expect, you’ll be surprised to remember they aren’t. It’s not just for those looking to travel in style; instead it can be for everyone.
Especially given that a British summer normally means sheltering under an umbrella after a single member of the family remembered to bring one on the excursion. You wouldn’t think to bring one when you left the house to twenty degree temperatures. But all too often you’ll find yourself out with the whole clan and the heavens will open. You might think that a quick watering is not that big a deal, but it’s the unsightly smell that tends to allude to the aroma of a wet dog should you stay damp for too long. It’s not refreshing in anyway; you’re in the capital where the water from the tap isn’t even considered good enough to drink amid the culture of bottled and mineral. ‘Filtered through millions of years of volcanicity’ goes the tagline of one particular brand of water, only to have the best before date be less than a year from now.
Like those that go to the theme parks, get soaked by the log flume, and tell themselves ‘the sun will dry me off’, always come to regret it. It doesn’t matter how hot it is, and whether or not you got cooled down, you’re essentially washing in thousands upon thousands of strangers’ bath water. The amount of people who have been on Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park, for example, and it is probably rarely drained. So next time you think about passing on the offer of one of the taxis in Victoria when it’s raining, think again. It’s also unsightly for anyone you meet; did no-one mention that wet dog is not in vogue this season?
The great wonders of the city are a source of inspiration for writer Bob Aarav, who has a BA in Journalism.He wrote an article about A Short Ride in a Victoria Taxi and more information on London’s Leading Minicab Company here.