A preamble

"And what would you do after you retire?"
This was the question asked from me most often when I told people I wanted to retire early.
"I don't know, I could run an Uber." was my response.

While I was never serious when I gave that answer, I think I always had it at the back of my mind that this was something that I could at least try out, and could in an odd way, be fun. While I had many taxis during the period of 2011 - 2015, the time taxi services became affordable and accessible to many Sri Lankans and had at length spoken to the drivers, I had no personal experience being a taxi driver. Besides, after I bought my car, I had used taxi services very sparingly.

It is then that I read on Sanjiva Weerawarna's blog that he was trying out being an Uber driver. Him being the founder CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in Sri Lanka, it was quite fascinating to read about it and I think I wouldn't have been the only one who would have wanted to read more of it. Unfortunately, that stopped after one or two posts.

In 2018 at the Colombo International Book Fair, I bought the Sinhalese translation of Prof. Cai Mingjie's "A taxi driver's diary". Unlike Sanjiva, Cai wasn't doing it for fun. During the financial crisis of 2008, Cai who was working as a molecular biologist, also lost his job. That's when I thought that I should at least try this out for the experience.

Nearly two years after Sanjiva's blog, an year after reading Cai's book and some moments of thinking about supplementing my income - and of course a much needed renewal of driving license (it's been a miracle as to how cops let me go after seeing that. After years of usage, it has simply become a white coloured plastic card!), I decided to try my luck with signing up with Uber.

What follows is a collection of stories and incidents. Some of them are interesting, some of them are funny. Some of them may make you think about what goes out there in the world and some of them would possibly make you (it certainly made me) think, "Why in the world is he doing this still???"


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