Uber is Uber

So often I am asked the question, why do I choose an Uber over a taxi?

For me, the answer is simple. Uber outshines cabs in every single area of competition.

Let’s start with the driver. The Uber driver is courteous, polite, speaks great English, offers you water and mints. They even change the music channel to suit you, your preferred air temperature and most offer a mobile charging service. Try get any of that with a cab driver!

The next obvious one is the car. The Uber car is clean, doesn’t smell and is inconspicuous. It may not always be the biggest or top model but I would choose them over a stinky, old Ford Fairmont any day!

Please keep in mind that I am basing this on Uber X, the most basic form of the Uber service. Get me started on the benefits of black and we will be here all day.

Why so much pride in their presentation? Well, much of it has to do with the fact that they are rated at the end of the ride. But guess what, so are you! If you have a bad rating, good luck getting an Uber. I love a system based on mutual satisfaction and appreciation.

You don’t have to pay at the end. Well you do, but no money exchanges hands. The bill comes straight off your credit card which is preregistered on the app. You pull up at your destination and you are off! You can also split bills with other Uber users – try doing that in a cab. If you’re like me and travel for business and are terrible with receipts this is another life saver – they email you your receipt. You just forward that bad boy on to your accounts and you’re done! Don’t even get me started on the paper you are saving. Oh!! AND you can have more than one card registered – ie, I have both a personal and business card registered. Brilliant.

The biggest thing for me though? I feel SAFE. When I hop in an Uber it is geo tracked, the app knows exactly which driver is driving me and where to. I can share my location to anyone on a smart phone – they can see exactly where I am at any moment. Cabbies will try kick me out when I am going a short distance – Uber drivers are happy to accommodate.

They are a disrupter in the industry, and being a marketer, I love that. They are making some great alliance partners and their campaigning is pretty sweet too! I can’t help but gravitate towards them.

Not to mention they are starting Uber Assist to aid disabled people and they employ many mature drivers who have difficulty finding employment. Win-win. In fact, the man who drove me home tonight drives as he is bored in the afternoon and had run out of things to talk to his wife about. His Uber escapades supply him with endless tales. **Collective sigh.**

Oh and, it is cheaper than cabs by a while. But even if it was the same cost or more, I would still take it. The cost is not where I see value here.

So when you ask me would I rather take an Uber or a Taxi, there is zero thought required. Uber all the way, baby!


Vancouver Day 6

i was up early and in Kits for some business meetings. I met with my good friend Sunny and Tim for breakfast where we had awesome discussions about the future of food. 

Tim drove me to EA Games where my friend’s brother gave me an awesome tour. I was really lucky to get in and saw so many cool initiatives! I totally geeked out. They have a football field, basketball court, yoga studio, volley ball court, gym, gaming rooms and chill rooms and all over the show, they hold their meetings in cinemas and there’s dogs everywhere. It’s a very inspiring place and I loved how their branding and culture came to life around the facility. 

I met Amanda at a waterside cafe and we sipped mimosas, tapping away at our laptops for the rest of the arvo. 

We met some friends for dinner – Wednesday wings and took turns trying the hottest variety while Keanu the puppy wwat he’s on contentedlyon the path. 


Vancouver Day 5 

Soo I’m about two weeks behind here but I’ll try remember! 

We worked until check out then drove back from Harison Hot Springs to White Rock where we were hoping for some oysters. No luck – there was a red tide which had wiped them all out! Had some awesome mussels and tuna though. 

Back in Van I smashed out some more work then got ready for Diner en Blanc. Three years ago I did the PR for the event and Amanda and I had been invited to do it again. We were both keen to see where it would be and I just wanted to get dressed up and enjoy the atmosphere for a while. Lucky I ached a white dress – just in case.  

We helped with setup & soon enough the guests started flowing in. The event was held in Canada Place in downtown Vancouver and although it’s a pretty venue, I don’t think it flowed very well. Nonetheless it was a beautiful sight to see, as always. 

We drank a fair amount of red wine in the media tent (until they ran out) then cabbed to meet Bahram for dinner. I had the most incredible pasta at Yaletown Cactus Club. Butternut tortellini in burnt butter with poached prawns. OMG. 


Vancouver, Day 4

Started the day with a buffet brekfast. Met the most hilarious omelette making man ever. Not that I’ve met others to compare him to….

I had planned to take the day off work but Yvette had something urgent come up so we ended up working most of the day. 

Later in the arvo we took a break to go out on the jet ski! I had to sign 4 pages worth of legality to have it for just an hour! It cost $140 but was well worth it – I loved every minute of it! The speed was capped at 90kmph so obviously reaching that was my first feat. 

We flew around the lake taking in the sights of the Canadian landscape. It was stunning and all fun and games until we got out to the middle of the lake and the wind picked up. It was crazy, like being out on an angry ocean. We were getting sprayed by water in every direction and slapping down after each wave. We could barely go fast at all. Once we made it back towards the coast the waves went down a little and we were able to fly across the low once again! 

We worked again for a bit then walked around the lake and had sushi for dinner. I really wanted a beautiful trout or fish from the lake but surprisingly nobody had them. Sushi was average. 

We watched the sunset and spent time in the hot pools for the rest of the evening. 


Vancouver, Day 3

I was up early and ready for Yvette to pick me up for our road trip to Harisson Hot Springs except, Yvette, true to character was late. 

We went by a Farmers Market so I could investigate for work then Yvette’s so she could pack while I made a caprese salad then we hit the road! 

Yvette’s car is a convertible so with the wind in our hair we caught up and sang the 2 hours there. 

Check in was ridiculous even at 12pm for ‘pre check in’ at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. We waited about half an hour and because I was hangry and I knew Carso was waiting to have lunch with us, it wasn’t particully pleasant. Surely the hotel can predict when they need additional help at the front desk? I’m a customer service nazi. 

Finally I went to find Carso and we did a slow mo run into each other’s arms as we haven’t seen each other since I left. She had her friend, Ezza staying with her and we walked off in search of lunch.

We stopped at a German joint which was pretty average. Our waiter was… I actually don’t know what he was. Slow? Priorly occupied? In a constant day dream? Unaware of everything? 

It was great to catch up with everyone though and enjoy some sangria! 

Back at the hotel we could finally get up to our room. We changed, went for a swim in the natural hot springs, and got ready for dinner with some sunset pics on the balcony thrown in for good measure. 

Dinner was ‘included’ as part of our girls weekend away package. We had a fresh seafood platter with halibut, salmon, scallops and risotto. 

Dinner was wonderful, not because of the bottle of wine I drank but because of the live band to which all the older guests danced to. I love the way they dance, they were all very sweet and intimate. Inspired me to take more dance lessons – watch this space. 

Bear selfies on the way home! 

Ps. You might notice the smog, this is due to all the BC fires this year. 



Vancouver, Day 2

It’s like the breakfast holiday so far!

Amanda cooked me one of the most amazing breakfast I have had in my life. Fresh croissants, sautéed onions & mushrooms, poached eggs and a béarnaise sauce with truffle oil. Truffle oil! So essentially, an eggs benne on steroids! 

Next up? My first attempt at riding a bike in years. Like, not just a few. Many. Likeeee maybe 15? Maybe more? I haven’t ridden since I was a young teen. Soo I was pretty shaky. And uncoordinated. It would have been hilarious to watch. I struggled. Amanda was in hysterics at my uncoordinated approach. 

Anyway, I made it (slowly with lots of squeals) to Bellas Gelateria which, rumour has it, has the best mimosas in town. I’d care to agree at this stage. Mimosas with a splash of orange creamsicle – yumm. Anda offered for us to have a second, but I could barely drive that push bike sober. 

I forget how beautiful Vancouver is. The Seawall, the sky, the buildings. Yaletown and the Marina is simply stunning.

We made it to sunset beach, spread out the blanket and sunbathed. Actually, we napped. It was lovely. The music, everyone enjoying the sun, warm but not too hot. 

Our friend Pouria met us with some coronas, of which I drank two, now confident I could make it back home on the bike. 

It was definitely a quicker ride home. 

At home we discovered that we were both burnt down our left side only. There was one thing to do – nap. We were supposed to go on a night boat cruise but we were both so wiped out we just went to the bottlo for a red, got some cheese and watched a movie until we crashed out – again.

A lovely, cruisey day. 


Vancouver, Day 1

I feel like I have slipped back in to my old life. With the click of a finger (or rather a flight over the pacific) I’m back with all my old friends, in my old neighbourhood, eating at my old fave food spots. 

Back story here for those who aren’t regular readers, I lived in Vancouver for a year about 1.5 years ago. 

In the morning we got up (Amanda, Barram (her BF), and I) and Barram made me a traditional (freaking delicious) Turkish breakfast. Eggs fried on mushrooms with special sauces and warmed flat bread with condiments. There was honey, sour cherry jam and feta and you choose a few and mix it up – I can’t wait to make it for friends at home.

Might I add that I only met Barram that morning! Great guy. Seriously. He made me breakfast. I love food – he must have had intel. 

Barram and Amanda went to work and I worked from home. Which is what I used to do on Fridays in Vancouver way back when. 

A quick trip to Best Buys and I had a SIM card, adapter for my computer charger and a new wall plug for my iPhone as I’d left mine in NYC. All set up and ready to go! 

I punched out a day at work but there was one stop I HAD to make. Lunch. Duh! But a special lunch, at my favourite ever pizza joint, The Parlour in Yaletown. I dream about this pizza. The Goldmember. It has truffle oil and two types of cheese… Do I really need to say more? I enjoyed it with a crisp cider on the balcony in the sun. Just delightful. I may even go back again before I leave. In fact, of course I will! My mouth is watering already. 

Anyway back to my day. So I finished my incredible pizza, grabbed two takeaway for Amanda and Barram for when they got home and worked the rest of the arvo. What work you ask? Well, I’m working virtually for my usual day job. I work for this incredible company that allows me to work virtually and do industry research from location. I LOVE my job. I have actually missed my job while travelling – that’s a first. I can’t wait to see my colleagues when I’m back too. 

Amanda, Barram, his friend and I took the ferry to North Vancouver to the new Tap & Barrell for our friend Heather’s engagement dinner. We had a blast catching up (don’t go there for the food) and went out in Gastown afterwards. I got home around 3am to a beautifully made bed waiting for me. Great friends and hosts!!   


My Mexican Boyfriends

One of my favourite aspects of Playa Del Carmen is my Mexican boyfriends! I have sooo many. 

Let me describe to you our conversations…

Mexican: Hola Chica! 

Me: Hola 

Mexican: you want to buy something for your boyfriend? 

Me: . 

Mexican: oh you don’t have a boyfriend? Well, I will be your boyfriend. 

Me: .

Mexican: your Mexican lovvveerrrrr. Available 24/7. Mexican giggalo just for you señorita! 

Me: still walking away 

Mexican: oh yes, wait till I show you my Mexican (still not sure what this word is but you can imagine) …

Me:… Can barely hear them anymore 

Mexican: okay I’ll just wait here for you chicaaaaa! Ooohhhh.

You get the drift, it goes on and on with varying lines. Not just one or two guys, but most of them as you walk down the street. And while they’re trying to be sleezy, they’re just not. They just love talking smack. 

Nikita’s fave was when we were called Charlie’s Angels. 

Often the Mexicans mistake Lauren and I for Mexicans and start talking Spanish to us until they realise we aren’t responding at all. 

It’s a fun game, I need to learn Spanish so I can beat them at it, although, I don’t think it would be quite the same… 


Playa Del Carmen – holiday tips

While I loved our five days in Playa Del Carmen, there are a few things I’d do differently next time. Here’s my list:

  • Use ADO for airport transfers. Cheap, comfortable and reliable.
  • Stay at a hotel with a pool. Because of the seaweed issue we couldn’t lie on the beach and it would have been nice to lie poolside and relax a bit.
  • Find a map of Playa Del Carmen! We struggled to find a map and as a result there was a lot we didn’t see or explore.
  • Don’t use Easy Tours unless you are willing to wait for long periods of time and have an average experience. We did the rest of our tours on our own and it was great.
  • I would hire a jeep in Cozumel and explore. This is one that I really wish I had done. The island is small enough to drive around in a day with a number of stops. Cabs will try rip you off left, right and centre.
  • I’d love to have gone fishing. Only tours I could find were chartered and very expensive.
  • Eat more off the beaten path. It’s cheaper, the food is more traditional and the locals love having the gringos to visit.
  • Learn more Spanish! 


Playa Del Carmen, Day 5

A very short day in Mexico – I didn’t want to leave! 

Slept in a little then got all our luggage ready. I was flying to Vancouver at 4pm and the girls were heading to Cancun for a night, then LA for a night before they fly back. 

We went for a walk to check the shuttles to the airport and as it turned out we had a lot less time than we thought. We grabbed a fish burrito (very unlike our westernised burrito – it was just a crumbed fish, a little lettuce and tomato in a wrap with chipotle sauce) and headed to the bus station. Transfers direct to Cancun airport cost $12USD – not bad. 

Nikita and Lauren came for the ride to the airport as they were checking in to their hotel in Cancun. We said our goodbyes and went our seperate ways after an awesome 2 weeks together. Later I found out the lucky girls got to see turtles hatch! 

I had lost my immigration form so had to pay $30USD to get through the airport. I’m 

Flew to Phoenix first, I have never seen so many people running through an airport! It was crazy. I nearly missed my flight, so I was one of those people running too. 

My flight was delayed however so I did make it after all and got into Vancouver hit before midnight. 

Flew through customs and bag check, took the skytrain to Yaletown and met up with my good friend Amanda who I am staying with while I’m in Vancouver. 

We walked Keenu (their beautiful husky dog) home and caught up over red wine until 3am. So good to be back!