What’s the Difference Between a Moving & a Parked Cab?


On the streets of Lagos, up to 500 naira (equivalent to $3-4).

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:

  1. It costs more to move things than to keep them in motion.
  2. Time is really often money: you pay one or the other.

What are your experiences with similar dynamics? Please share!


2 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between a Moving & a Parked Cab?

  1. Great post.
    Last week, I was reading several online articles on Investment – Stocks and Mutual funds, and to my surprise, the authors placed more value on initial age than initial capital. And one gave a practical instance of two people – Akeem and Bade. Akeem is 22 years old and Bade is 32, they both have a mutual fund account that they each fund with NGN10,000 monthly and the fund grows at a rate of 8% per year.
    If Akeem stops funding his account ten years later and Bade continued for the next 32 years till he retires at age 64. Bade will collect NGN11,740,000. If Akeem also retires at age 64 and decides to withdraw his fund, he will collect NGN23,460,000 despite the fact that he only funded his account for ten years while Bade did his for thirty-two years!
    So truely, time is money.


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