who's gonna drive you home?

Who's Gonna Drive You Home?

I go out a lot, so do my friends. Living in London that regularly means that someone takes a cab, or nightbus to get back home, in a city that is huge.

Travelling in London, especially for certain groups of people, is not always very safe.

So I ask people who I worry about to let me know when they get home so that I won’t worry for very long. Well, it’s more so that if they don’t call when I expect them to I can call them and find out why they are not home yet.

Until New year’s Eve 2013 this setup had always gone fairly smoothly, then Louise went home and didn’t call me.

It was already very, very early in the morning and I could not be sure whether her not answering the phone was because she had crashed out upon reaching her house or for some other reason.

After much deliberation I called the police who informed me that it was far too early for them to become involved. I suppose they like a good chase and require the potential kidnappers to have at least a 24 hour head start otherwise it isn’t any fun trying to track them down. Whatever, the Old Bill weren’t interested, and it being New Year’s Day I guess they probably had their hands full with a massive hangover anyway.

At the time I was a fair old way from where Louise lived so I did a bad thing. Well, a cheeky thing. A thinking-outside-the-box thing.

I called a cab.

And asked them to pick me up from her house.

Now, I know this could appear mean but I did choose a cab firm that was 10 yards from her house, so I know they weren’t travelling miles to knock on her door.

When they rang me back to tell me the cab was there I told them I was looking outside and couldn’t see it, and that they should try knocking.

Which is when I heard Louise answer her door on the other end of the phone and tell them that she hadn’t ordered a cab.


So, anyway, the upshot is that it is one of the things that made me think more about personal safety and one of the reasons I ended up writing Alert Ferret for people getting home alone or going on dates with strangers.

I have a lot more uses in mind and some ideas for mobile apps that use Alert Ferret as a service but right now you can play with it if you want to and I can spend some time fixing things like large email providers marking email it sends out as spam.

The very next time I used that cab firm I left a big tip to rather bemused driver.

03 August 2013 - travel dating safety

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