But only if you know there’s a difference. (If you don’t, it can only mean you take public transit too seldom to care – or you’re an expatriate, which comes to the same thing.)
It’s all quite simple, really. A parked cabdriver, whether chatting with his fellows, having an unhurried lunch or grabbing much-needed shuteye, is at rest. Then you show up and he names his price, like any sharp Lagos driver, at twice, maybe thrice, what he’s really willing to take. “Ah-han, oga”, you protest, and magnanimously offer to pay three-quarters what you really have in mind. You go back and forth for a bit and you’re inching toward your maximum offer, and then it happens.
He scrunches up his face in thought. Looks up the road along your direction and back at you, and tells you to forget it: your price is too low.
You know what just happened? He weighed your price and found it wanting. Against what did he weigh it? Against his state of rest, that’s what. (His inertia, to borrow from physics.)
A moving cab, however, has little to lose. You, on the other hand, may have to wait awhile before one shows up.
Two dynamics here, then:
- It costs more to move things than to keep them in motion.
- Time is really often money: you pay one or the other.
What are your experiences with similar dynamics? Please share!