Date: Sun, 10 Sep 1995
From: ((river estate guest house))

In 1985 while coming back from a vacation in Europe I stopped for the night in London.I had a layover and decided to hit the Hippodrome for some fun.When it was time to leave I went to flag down a cab.Not having any experience in this I had a very hard time flagging a cab.As the hour became later and later I was getting desperate but finally a cab pulled up.It was not the normal vehicle type but at that point I was desperate.After I told the driver the name of my hotel he proceeded to drive me around in circles for a couple of hours.Finally I told him to get me to the hotel or I was going to get out of the cab.

Miraculously he found the hotel and when I told him I had to get some money in my room he waited in the lobby of the hotel.I came down and when I asked how much for the ride he told me 20 pounds for the same trip it cost 3 pounds before .I told him that I'd give him 5 pounds and when I went for my money he took out a tire iron and hit me over the head and in the face exclaiming "Give me all your money".At that point I told him to "Get F......" and ripped up the money I had in my hand.I fended off his additional blows and he walked out of the hotel.All this took place in the lobby of the hotel in front of the manager who did and said nothing.Tired and bloody I retired to my"room" to clean up and go to sleep.

I ended up staying an additional day to recouperate and left the next day.When I went downtown for dinner the next day in a licensed cab I told the driver of my experience and he wanted a description of the person who had done it to me as he told me there had been some murders recently by what they thought was an unlicensed cabbie.I would definitely go back to London but would make sure that I took a licensed cab next time.

Mark Barbanell

When he's not being accosted by lunatics in London, Marc operates a cool guest house:
River Estate:

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