Taxi drivers have breakfast in bed in own B&Bs

There are countless stories about the criminality that is rife in the taxi industry.

Daily commuters complain about being assaulted by queue marshals and drivers.

The shoe was on the other foot a week ago when one of our regular drivers decided to tell us about his working life.

We have all written that boring school essay about an old shoe that tells its tale. Well, his story was a revelation.

I will rename the driver Tizzah so that he does not become the butt of jokes by his colleagues and customers.

Tizzah is a very funny man.

He has a way with words and belies the myth that taxi drivers evolved in one hairy swoop from herding goats in Limpopo to driving E20s.

He is clean, cheerful, polite, a careful driver and interested in his customers. He always shares his views on current events with us.

He has a gentle, sly way of laughing at the pompous verbiage of politicians on the morning news. His comments usually provoke the commuters into taking part in the conversation.

He draws out the most taciturn and babalaas into seeing the world in a kindlier way.

Tizzah started his tale by telling us that most taxi drivers have "breakfast in bed everyday".

He said he understood what the phrase meant and that drivers really did.

Taxi drivers work the whole day and take breaks between trips if there is a stutter in the flow of customers. That is their only break.

At weekends and the end of the month, they work nonstop to cope with the customer flow and the traffic.

Tizzah says their day starts at 4am with this breakfast in bed.

He says that at the end of the working shift, they still have to pick up special loads at factories and restaurants.

Often a driver will sign off at midnight after delivering the last load. Then he has to go back to the taxi rank to get a good place in the next morning's queue.

This means that he sleeps in his B&B, the taxi back seat.

He is woken at a quarter to four in the morning by one of the queens of the rank. This is the auntie who runs his chosen food stall.

Questions of hygiene are ignored in favour of the auntie who has an accurate clock.

That is how taxi drivers eat "breakfast in bed" every day.