I stepped out and the smartly dressed doorman greeted me and asked if I was picking up. I explained that Percy is a private car and we were actually out for some lunch and gently pointed out it was a single yellow and shouldn’t be a problem for the hotel. He wasn’t bothered at all. In fact, it slowly dawned on me that he was actually rather taken by our Fairway Driver. He spotted it was a 1992 model from the number plate and proceeded to ask about insurance and the general ownership questions (he wanted to buy one for his wife and he also wanted to drive one through Europe to Morocco, where he is from). He even suggested that he was going to campaign to the Moroccon government to introduce Fairway Drivers as their taxis, as their current Mercedes models are really cramped when they have the maximum 5 passengers, which is most of the time because, unlike London taxis, they take more than one fare at once making strangers share.
Then, a gentleman whom I presumed was the hotel manager stepped out and I thought I’d have to put up a fight to leave Percy parked where he was, but he was actually after a taxi for the some guests and asked if I was working, to which the doorman very kindly explained for us that we weren’t a working taxi, so we all had a giggle.
We waddled off to the Japan Centre only to find that it appeared to be shut for good and boarded up, so we headed towards Soho in search of an alternative, only to find the Japan Centre had actually moved to Shaftesbury Avenue. Nina had sushi and I had chicken donburi before heading back to Percy. The doorman was still working and by now seemed to have decided that he would like to purchase a late Fairway model, asking us what year the last ones were. I responded R reg or 1997/1998 but suggested that the year is less relevant than a well cared for, one-owner cab. And for once, somebody wasn’t taken aback by Percy’s mileage; in fact, he’d guessed that Percy had done around 450,000 miles.