Friday, March 15, 2013

{hailo}

I booked my flights for Toronto yesterday {last minute, I know; it's how I do everything} and spent a good little chunk of the day figuring out logistics. I'm going there as media next week for a big music festival, to write about it and take pictures and interview bands and stuff, so, of course, there was a lot of comparing and filling out and looking into and that. By this morning, everything was mostly figured out...except for one nagging, foreboding, ominous, looming thing: TAXIS.

Taxis are stupid. Getting into a car with a gross old stranger and telling him where I live seems like almost the worst idea in the whole world. Walking around in the middle of the night waving a fist full of tens at random yellow cars, also: bad idea.

I grew up on a farm where the closest thing we had to a taxi was a cow. My last experience with a real-life taxi was in Scotland last year: Our train was delayed due to something going wrong {as is usually the case in these matters} and we got to our hotel at midnight to find out that they'd accidentally lost our reservation and someone was in our room and "here are your suitcases, sorry about that" and the cash machine was out of order and we got to the bus stop an hour's walk down the street lugging two weeks' worth of luggage only to find out it'd shut down for the night a half hour earlier and when we called the only taxi service we had a number for, they hung up on us because we couldn't provide them with a home address. {Which was ok, because we only had ten pounds on us anyway and that wasn't enough to get us anywhere near a bed.} By the time we found a house with an address on it not covered in vines or obscured by darkness and tricky shadows, figured out what street we were on, took a sketchy taxi as far as we possibly could for ten pounds, and found our way to a place to sleep, the night was almost over and we were soaked because it'd been raining the whole time. And I really thought the taxi guy was going to kill us. He had a lot of spookiness about him.

Anyway. It was awfully funny, and it was horribly unfunny, and it was fine, because we were together. But by myself? I would probably die.

How do you do it? People on movies do it. They do it effortlessly. They do it all the time. They float out of a high-rise building in a big, bustling city, they gracefully extend one delicate bunch of fingers, a car comes along just at that exact moment, also floating, and slows gently to a complete and perfect stop at the movie star's feet. There is happiness and flashing of teeth, and the cab driver is friendly and clean, and everything is well-lit, and there is maybe a handsome stranger in the back seat for the star to share a cab with, fall in love with, and marry at the end of the movie. Clearly, I don't want or need for there to be a handsome stranger in the back seat; I'd just love to figure out the magical hand motions that will somehow summon a safe sedan to get me home without anything treacherous happening.

For the most part on this trip, I'll be able to rely on the subway. But what happens at 3 in the morning after a show when I find myself in downtown Toronto by myself and need to get home some way, and remember how Liz made me promise not to ride the subway by myself at 3 in the morning? What then? The only conceivable answer: TAXIS.

So you can imagine my complete and total excitement upon discovering a free app for my iPhone that solves every single problem I currently have, besides the ones that don't have anything to do with taxis: HAILO.

You need a taxi? You push the yellow button. Then you stand there and wait. You can wait inside, because HAILO will tell you when your taxi is out front. It will tell you how far away your taxi is and it will tell you how long your taxi will take to get to you and it will tell your taxi driver where you are so you don't even have to know and it will tell you your driver's name and show you his picture so that you can feel as though a friend is coming to pick you up. Then, when you get home, you can pay your fare using the app.
 photo hailo_zps090dd0b5.jpg So. I guess I am ready to go to Toronto now. Have any of you ever used this app, or have any other good travel-type apps I need to download?

13 comments:

  1. THIS. is the best thing ever. If I was a traveller or lived in a city that didn't allow me to walk everywhere, I would be up on that. That's so good for you.

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    1. wonderful eh? i'm very pumped i discovered it. technology is the best.

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  2. You should've called me! I have an excellent town car service that I use for work whenever any of my bosses travel to T.Dot. You never have to deal with a sketchy driver...and they're not yellow...they're black, just like your car :)

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    1. black cars are indeed the best way to travel.

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  3. Ever thought about how scary it is to be a taxi-driver?
    Literally ANYONE can get into your car and can let you bring him to some spooky deserted place to beat you up and kill you...

    :)

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    1. i have TOTALLY thought of that. i feel sorry for taxi drivers. sigh. poor taxi drivers.

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  4. I agree so much. Taxi drivers are terrifying or they want to talk too much. I can count on one finger the amount of taxi rides I've taken in the past five years that was "okay" (although it was seventy fucking dollars to get to the airport).

    But ya, a really scary thing I've found is a few times I get super old men who seem like they're drunk.

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    1. yikes! i don't want a creepy drunk old taxi driver... :( the whole thing is just so ridiculous. but unavoidable, i guess. SIGH.

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  5. i have lots of experience with taxis. some are good, some are bad, some are nightmare.

    hey! this app is genius!

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    1. i had this one driver once who took such a long route just so he could charge me an arm and a leg. which was annoying because i'd take the same trip earlier that day and it cost me HALF AS MUCH. i kept asking him to just take me straight home and he kept saying, "NO! I SHOW YOU BEACH!"
      NO. YOU TAKE ME HOME.

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  6. Not to worry, Suzy. I've been in tons of cabs here in the T. over the years. Totally safe. Connect by text w someone when you get in a cab to make you feel safer. And when you get to your destination. Connect if you have some time and we can meet up...I'm in the King West area. Safe flight...

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    1. haha, so funny. i was just talking to my bro-in-law today who is also from toronto: he said, and i quote, "just don't take any taxis when you're there. don't do it."
      so funny the different experiences/reactions two different people can have in the same city!

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  7. That is the COOLEST APP EVER. I hope you have an amazing time! I love Toronto!!

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