Two New Yorkers have accomplished a feat that most people would have considered impossible - Convince a Yellow Cab driver to take them cross-country from the Big Apple to Los Angeles - And that too at a severe discount!
The trip started as a crazy idea that New Jersey resident John Belitsky, hatched up at his pal, Dan Wuebben's birthday bash. After convincing Dan to go along with him on the approximately 3,000-mile bi-coastal trip, they set about looking for a yellow cab driver, crazy enough to agree to it.
While this may sound easy, in a city where drivers refuse to go from Brookyln to Queens , this was a pretty mammoth task. In fact John's father, a retired cab driver was convinced that nobody would agree - John of course took that as a challenge!
After being turned down by a number of cab drivers the two met Mohammed Alam, an immigrant from Bangladesh at La Guardia Airport, who was intrigued by the idea - In fact, so much so, that he agreed to do it for a mere $5,000 USD, a big discount from the $17,000 USD it would have cost had the meter been running.
However, before they could leave, Mr. Alam had to convince his family, who agreed after some cajoling and bid him a tearful farewell.
Armed with a computer to tweet their progress and a camera to document the historic trip the trio set off driving through Pennsylvania and then on to Ohio and Chicago. All seemed to go well until they reached Rueben's home town of Omaha, Nebraska, where a weary and homesick Alam decided he did not want to continue anymore. The two convinced him to sleep over it and sure enough, by the next morning the taxi driver was ready to get going again.
Picking up Dan's cousin to help document the trip, they set off past the Rocky Mountains into Denver and then onto Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. Of course no cross-country trip would be complete without visiting Las Vegas, where John and Dan tried their hand at the blackjack tables and emerged with $2,000 USD, which they showered on the sleeping cab driver.
On Friday April 24th, six days after they began their epic journey, the weary, slightly smelly but jubilant fouresome finally reached Los Angeles, where they planned to rest for a few days before heading back to New YorkCity - While Alam is driving back with a friend, John and Dan have not yet decided how they will return - Maybe hop on a few public buses?
Resources: CNN.com, dailymail.co.uk