Riding in a black cab while visiting London is one of the highlights you should not miss. Cruising the streets of London, they are bountiful, thankfully, since we rely on them for getting around town, along with the tube and buses. Some 21,000 licensed drivers are circling the city in their traditionally black cabs which are also called hackney carriages.
One of their unique features is being able to turn around in a 25 foot turning circle, in other words able to " turn on a sixpence" (or a dime.) Makes it easy to hail a taxi from either side of the street!
With four doors and roomy enough for luggage, strollers, or even an occasional piece of furniture or plant purchase, they serve us well for short or long hauls.
It's no easy task becoming a taxi driver. To earn that title, would-be drivers must take an extensive training course called The Knowledge. For an average of 3 years, they drive around town on a motor scooter studying the 25,000 roads and points of interest they must memorize. Taxi cab drivers are expected to know immediately how to take you to your destination using some 400 standard runs or routes they have memorized. Then they will experience at least a dozen Appearances with a tester who quizzes them before being granted their license. Interestingly enough, medical tests have shown that the drivers have developed an exceptionally large hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where information about locations is stored. I want one of those! Shoot, I'd be happy if I could just have some help finding objects around the house that I've hid away.
For those of you who are fans of the Cash Cab television show that is so popular in the US, I recently discovered that the first cash cab was actually developed in the UK. It's no longer in production there unfortunately, so now I'm on the hunt for this London cabbie who seems to be throwing a party in the back of his cab. Take a look and enjoy.