Q: I had a devil of a time trying to get a cab to take me from downtown Manhattan to LaGuardia. It was rush hour, and raining. Three different cabs stopped, asked me my destination, then drove away when I said LGA! Are they really permitted to do that? I almost missed my flight.
A: Technically, no—if you check the official website for the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, it says a cabbie can’t refuse any destination within the five boroughs. If you were going to Newark airport, they could legitimately refuse, but since LaGuardia’s in Queens, they should have taken you. But this happens all the time. So what can you do? Well, you could get the driver’s medallion number and report him, but that’s not going to get you to the airport. I’d get in the cab, shut the door and then say you’re going to LGA. If the driver objects, remind him of the rules. I suppose he could still flat-out refuse to take you, but it’s a lot harder if you’re already in the cab.
Q: My mom and I are celebrating her birthday by traveling to Chicago for the weekend. I want to try restaurants serving food I can’t get in our hometown, but my mom is a real meat-and-potatoes person. Would it be rude of me to suggest eating at places I know wouldn’t be her first choice? I just never get to visit big cities, and I think eating at, like, the Olive Garden would be a waste.
A: While I completely understand your desire to try interesting restaurants, nobody wants to go out for dinner on her birthday at a restaurant she doesn’t like. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with chain restaurants—it just means you need to go online and do some research. Short of really avant-garde molecular gastronomy places, most restaurants offer a couple of simple dishes along with more creative fare. Find several restaurants that sound good to you, print their menus out, and ask your mom what appeals to her.
Q: What do you do if the person sitting next to you on a flight falls asleep and starts leaning into you? I was really uncomfortable when the guy sitting next to me kept doing this on a transatlantic flight.
A: Wake them up—over and over again, if necessary. If there are empty seats on the plane, you could move, but otherwise, this is pretty much your only option. Just do it nicely—I’m sure they’re not intentionally encroaching on your space.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2010, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service