In a moment of personal crisis, how much help can you expect from a New York taxi driver? I began studying this question after watching the "Taxicab Confessions," a series of documentaries in which hidden cameras record the secrets of unsuspecting taxi riders. I found the results varied.
One morning I got into three different taxis and announced: "Well, it's my first day back in New York in seven years. I've been in prison." Not a single driver replied, so I tried again. "Yeah, I shot a man in Reno," I explained, hoping the driver would ask me why, so I could say casually," Just to watch him die." But nobody asked. The only response came from a Ghanaian driver: "Reno? That is in Nevada?"
Taxi drivers were uniformly sympathetic when I said I'd just been fired. "This is America," a Haitian driver said. "One door is closed. Another is open." He argued against my plan to burn down my boss's house: "If you do something silly and they put you away, you cannot look for another job." A Pakistani driver even turned down a chance to profit from my loss of hope: he refused to take me to the middle of the George Washington Bridge, a $20 trip. "Why you want to go there? Go home and relax. Don't worry. Take a new job."
One very hot weekday in July, while wearing a red ski mask and holding a stuffed pillowcase with the work "BANK" on it, I tried hailing a taxi five times outside different banks. The driver picked me up every time. My ride with Guy-Caaude Thevenain, a Haitian driver, was typical of the superb assistance I received.
"Is anyone following us?"
"No," said the driver, looking in his rearview mirror at traffic and me.
"Let's go across the park," I said. "I just robbed the bank there. I got $25,000."
"$25,000?" he asked.
"Yeah, you think it was wrong to take it?"
"No, man, I work 8 hours and I don't make almost $70. If I can do that, I do it too."
As we approached 86th and Lexington, I pointed to the Chemical Bank.
"Hey, there's another bank," I said, "could you wait here a minute while I go inside?"
"No, I can't wait. Pay me now." His reluctance may have had something to do with money -taxi drivers think the rate for waiting time is too low -but I think he wanted me to learn that even a bank robber can't expect unconditional support.
1. From the Ghanaian driver's response, we can infer that
A) he was indifferent to the killing.
B) he was afraid of the author.
C) he looked down upon the author.
D) he thought the author was crazy.
2. Why did the Pakistani driver refuse to take the author to the middle of the George Washington Bridge?
A) Because he didn't want to help the author get over his career crisis.
B) Because he wanted to go home and relax.
C) Because it was far away from his home.
D) Because he suspected that the author was going to commit suicide.
3. What is author's interpretation of the driver's reluctance "to wait outside the Chemical bank"?
A) The driver thought that the rate for waiting time was too low.
B) The driver thought it wrong to support a taxi rider unconditionally.
C) The driver was frightened and wanted to leave him as soon as possible.
D) The driver wanted to go home and relax.
4. Which of the following statements is true about New York taxi drivers?
A) They are ready to help you do whatever you want to.
B) They refuse to pick up those who would kill themselves.
C) They are sympathetic with those who are out of work.
D) They work only for money.
5. What does the passage mainly discuss?
A) How to make taxi riders comfortable.
B) How to deal with taxi riders.
C) The attitudes of taxi drivers towards the taxi riders having personal crises.
D) The attitudes of taxi drivers towards violent criminals.
Mom's Traffic Accidents
The bicycling craze came in when were just about the right age to enjoy it. At first even "safety" bicycles were too dangerous and improper for ladies to ride, and they had to have tricycles. My mother had (I believe) the first female tricycle in Cambridge; and I had a little one, and we used to go out for family rides, all together; my father in front on a bicycle, and my poor brother Charles standing miserable on the bar behind my mother. I found it very hard work, pounding away on my hard tyres; a glorious, but not a pleasurable pastime.
Then, one day at lunch, my father said he had just seen a new kind of tyre, filled up with air, and he thought it might be a success. And soon after that everyone had bicycles, ladies and all; and bicycling became the smart thing, and the lords and ladies had their pictures in the papers, riding along in the park, in straw boater hats.
My mother must have fallen off her bicycle pretty often, for I remember seeing the most appalling cuts and bruises on her legs. But she never complained, and always kept these mishaps to herself. However, the great Mrs. Phillips, our cook, always knew all about them; as indeed she knew practically everything that ever happened. She used to draw us into the servants' hall to tell us privately. "Her Ladyship had a nasty fall yesterday; she cut both her knees and sprained her wrist. But don't let her know I told you. " So we never dared say anything. Similar little accidents used to occur when, at the age of nearly seventy, she insisted on learning to drive a car. She never mastered the art of reversing, and was in every way an unconventional and terrifying driver. Mrs. Phillips used then to tell us: "Her Ladyship ran into the back of a milk-cart yesterday; but it wasn't much hurt "; or " A policeman stopped her Ladyship because she was on the wrong side of the road; but she said she didn't know what the white line on the road meant, so he explained and let her go on. " Mrs. Phillips must have had an excellent Intelligence Service command, for the stories were always true enough.
1.Women did not ride bicycles at first because
A) they demanded too much hard work.
B) they were considered unsafe and unladylike.
C) tricycles were more enjoyable.
D) tricycles could carry young children as well.
2. How did the writer feel about tricycles?
A) They were very hard to ride.
B) They were safer and more convenient for women.
C) They were not as fast as bicycles.
D) They were not proper for women to ride.
3.Cyclying became popular when
A) the writer's father popularized it.
B) air-filled tyres began to be used.
C) aristocratic people started enjoying it.
D) newspapers had pictures of cyclists.
4.The writer admires Mrs. Phillips because
A) she was an excellent cook.
B) she was in command of all the servants.
C) she could keep secrets.
D) she knew everything that went on.
5. The writer's mother always had car accident later because
A) she could not control the car.
B) she was very old then.
C) she did not understand the road system.
D) she behaved arrogantly.