I had a short holiday in Honolulu over the Australia Day long weekend. I stayed in Waikiki island which was full of tourists and close to everything. I took Uber three times to go to the supermarket and restaurants and I met three Uber drivers.
The first one was a very nice lady. Her car was right next to me when I made the order, so I could not even tell the direction on the map. This lady was from New Jersey and moved to the island five years ago when she retired from a job in Newark Airport. She bought one bedroom flat in Waikiki and worked as a Uber driver. She said she took it easy, started late and finished early, so she would not see those drunkies but all nice tourists. She said people in the island were quite different from the big city, so early today she took an old couple from NY and in order to make some conversation, the gentleman asked her some simple questions, then his wife said: why did not ask those questions if you already knew the answer? Typical New Yorker, the lady driver said, and they made awkward conversations not even behind you, like all old and young people who always do the wrong thing. I laughed hard with her and I thought she had a wonderful retirement.
The second guy was an angry man. He didn’t allow me to touch the boot as someone broke it, then he yelled at the red light as it was too long. Anyway, he was from CA, moved to the island when he was 12. He was running a limo company for tourists but it didn’t not run well at the moment so he had a bit of time to do Uber. He had a bad experience in hiring someone to drive his limo as the employee would not treat the car and the passenger in the way as he did. Despite his busy life, he would go golfing in an hour after dropping me. What a nice island life, I said. Yeah, he laughed.
The third guy was a military guy. I was a bit surprised military people are allowed to have a second job but he said it was common. He moved from Atlanta to the island with the job and then settled here. He would retire in 4 years and he was planning his own charted boat fishing business. Currently he was in the process of getting the captain licence and also studying part time with the support from the government. Everything went so well. He was the first person asking me about the bushfires in Australia and I couldn’t believe someone in the island would care about what happened around the world.
The Uber drivers I see in other cities are mostly Indians who can’t get another job but in this island, all Uber drivers have their stories and they like to share with other people. For me, it’s a great experience to know the island a little bit more.