Once I had arrived at Evesham, there were three options for the last leg home to Stratford. 1) A train, taking 2 hours, going back into Birmingham and then out again to Stratford. 2) A 5 minute walk to town followed by a bus taking one hour to the centre of Stratford followed by a 20 minute walk or a taxi ride or 3) a 20 minute taxi ride delivering me right to my front door.
These days I don’t lug much stuff as I try to travel ninja light. Just had my carry on luggage and a laptop bag stuffed with a few clothes. But the retracting handle on the carry on had somehow jammed making getting on and off public transport doubly hard. I was tired and I just wanted to be home.
So I chose option 3. Rang the first telephone number that popped up when I googled Evesham taxi. And a kind woman answered and told me she’d be with me in 5 minutes. And she was. Kind. And she was there in 5 minutes. And she was quite old, I’d say about 70.
I really hope she’s not reading this.
She asked me how I’d ended up in Evesham. I told her I had come from London, true, talked about having a daughter living in London, also true, but didn’t tell her I hadn’t actually been visiting, and also omitted the bit about the flight from Hong Kong. I wasn’t wearing a mask, for fear of freaking a taxi driver (and the few people at the station) out. So I loaded up my luggage in the boot and got in the back seat intending to keep my mouth very tightly shut, and would have succeeded had she not wanted to talk. I mean really talk to me, a lot. She straight away told me how she was thinking of calling 111 or going to her local minor injuries unit. Did I think she should? This of course slightly confused and unnerved me so I asked Why? She told me she was worried about some pains in her legs, concerned that she might have deep vein thrombosis. She told me her medical history of pulmonary embolisms. And the conversation about her diminishing health continued until it was interrupted by a loud call coming in over her hands free system. A man asking her to pick up Kimmy from Heathrow on Friday, like she normally does. This week Kimmy was coming in from Japan.
The taxi lady repeated back the information, and asked the man some more questions and it was clear he was a regular customer. Had he left his glasses in her cab last time he’d been in it? “Is Kimmy safe to be picked up? You know because of the virus”. The man reassured her Kimmy was, because she wasn’t from the area where it is a problem. I guess he thought because Kimmy hasn’t come straight off the Diamond Princess she’s a safe bet.
Then the taxi driver lady says to me how she also worried as she is due to pick up some people coming in from the Phillipines later this week. And what if they have picked up the virus. And how you can’t be sure about it this virus, can you?
And of course this taxi driver lady is an old lady, has underlying health issues, is vulnerable. I feel instantly sick.
My face, if she or I could have seen it, must have been a picture. I imagine like Edward Munch’s The Scream face.
All I wanted was to have a lift home from Evesham. Should I have told her before? Come clean? Would I have been worrying her unnecessarily?
Should I have continued home by public transport? Should I have worn my mask? Been totally honest up front?
So today I am feeling guilty and slightly defeated. Please God, when will the corona virus conundrum end? Soon, soon, I hope.