Tales of a West Palm Beach Uber Driver
I pull up to the restaurant on the beach and the man is waving his phone. I’m the only car, and they’re the only people. I get it. They’re my fare. I figure they’re from the Midwest, bright pink from too much sun, and smiling eagerly. I called it: Chicagoans on the beach for spring break. I tell them apple-cider vinegar takes away the sting and prevents peeling.
They’ve only got two days: Where can they go? They’re not into bars. I ask their interests and point them to some great local museums and shops.
They’re off to a downtown spot for lunch near their hotel. They loved Ruth’s Chris’s last night, and though I try to sell them on a good local restaurant for tonight, they prefer chains.
I politely ask why they eat the same food they have back home? It’s the familiarity factor, they say. Not taking chances with vacation money on an unknown. I sigh.
They marvel at the beauty of downtown West Palm Beach and how clean it appears. I drive it so often that I rarely notice. But they’re right. Last night we had a dramatic sky and the buildings contrasted against it looked beautiful.
They want to be dropped off in the median of an eight-lane highway. I say no, sorry. Not allowed to put them at risk, so I make the U-turn to get them on the proper side of the road. They oblige and stay in the car till I pull up.
They tip me $3 and leave me an online note that I’m a terrific Florida ambassador.
So why don’t they believe me about our local food?