The premise was simple. Latitudes needed to get to Tate Modern and so Martí Anson
was going to drive us to London and back. He would form a one-man one-car taxi company in his home town of Mataró, pick us up early in the morning in Barcelona and we’d head for the ferry. Mataró, Barcelona, Santander, Portsmouth, London, ‘No Soul for Sale
’ festival, happy 10th birthday
Tate Modern. Pim pam. His great-grandfather had been a taxi driver in Montevideo and his father-in-law a driver for the boss of Schweppes. Courteous and safe driving ran in the family, he told us. Barcelona had stolen the idea of black-and-yellow taxis from Mataró’s old cabs (he had the photo to prove it) so he would rob it back for his car service. BMW agreed to lend us a vehicle. We’d need something comfortable, they urged. A 7-Series with all the gadgets, they suggested. A big luxury limo. New car smell. And so Mataró Chauffeur Service
went into gear and Martí took the higher road: black-and-gold. Designer
livery and logo. Sharp uniform. Business cards, brochure
. “Our driver is not only highly qualified but also polite, discreet and multilingual.” Intimidated, the Mataró taxi union lodged an official complaint. Thousands of kilometres away in Iceland, clouds of ash billowed from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Flights were grounded across much of northern Europe. Martí’s road and sea route suddenly seemed like a good idea. Now what side of the road do they drive on in the UK?