They say you need a car to get around Nashville. It’s sprawling suburban wonderland is just too sparse to go catching buses all the time. And getting cabs every day is hassle. A car. It’s the practical, sensible, economically efficient thing to do.
The thing is, I’ve never been a practical, sensible or economically efficient kind of gal. I have some life skills, sure. I can musical gargle. I have wiki-like knowledge of the back stories of my favourite singers. I am fluent in Sagittarian. And I can sniff out a thrift store within 200 metres. But I can’t drive.
And so, every lovely night of this three-week stint in Music City, after I’ve wrestled with my suitcase long enough to find something suitably bedazzled, after I’ve bronzed up and put on enough mascara to rival the lashes of Bambi, after I’ve almost suffocated on a near toxic mix of hair spray, dry shampoo and Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, I call my driver to come and pick me up and take me out on the town.
I know this is a little bit ridiculous. But then, so am I. And dare I say it, befriending the one cabbie and getting them to drive you around is actually a lot more practical than relying on Nashville’s non-committal taxi service.
Sometimes we don’t have to drive very far. If I’m going to The Station Inn, it’s a flat five dollars. It’s ten dollars to the Bluebird. On last night’s trip to the aptly named Loveless Cafe, which is about 20 miles from my humble apartment in East Nashville, he turned the metre off and only charged me 30 bucks.
Adam is my cab driver’s name. He came to Nashville from Sudan 15 years ago. He is knowledgable, reliable, friendly, and as I have told him many times, what we’d describe in Australia as “a bloody champion”.
Having a driver is fun and it does allow me to do what I do best: watch music and drink. But… and there’s always a but… all this reliance on being chauffeured around is, of course, hugely at odds with my infamous, emasculating, throw-me-another-adjective independent streak and yet another reminder that I really need to get my license. A mere 55 days or five million, five hundred and forty-four thousand heartbeats away from my 30th birthday, it just might be about time.
So this next year, I’m going to learn to drive. And next time I come to Nashville, I will rent a car. A completely over-the-top, inappropriate and impractical car, and I will drive around on the wrong side of the road like a True Blue American.
In the meantime, for my last three days in this beautiful city, I will continue to be driven around. And I’m cool with that. And… if I don’t learn to drive by the next time I’m in Tennessee, some research today has yielded a positive alternative option.
For sale description, as listed on craigslist, today’s date:
TAMMY WYNETTE 77 LINCOLN – $8950
TAMMY WYNETTE’S PERSONAL 1977 LINCOLN LIMO. ALL ORIGINAL, 460 V8, AUTOMATIC FULLY LOADED AN PERSONALIZED FOR TAMMY WYNETTE. GLASS SLIDING WINDOW BETWEEN DRIVER AND REAR PASSENGER AREA. HAVE ORIGINAL TITLE AND TAG RECEIPT. THIS VEHICLE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION AND HAS BEEN GARAGE KEPT UNTIL RECENTLY. PLEASE CALL 205-516-2909