Celebri-cab - Alexander McCall Smith
I had never been to Beijing before. It was my first time in China and also my first time catching a taxi in Asia. I was a little nervous. As I got into the taxi, I noticed that the driver was wearing woollen fingerless gloves. I often notice little details like that. It is important for an author to notice things. That way they can put them in their books and the books will seem very believable. Being an author is a bit like being a detective. Detectives also have to pay very close attention to details and clues. That is why the best detectives are people who notice things.
I showed my hotel's business card to the driver. He grunted. He flipped the meter on and began to drive. The meter played a little tune and a recorded voice said something in Chinese. The road was very lumpy. The metal cage around the driver's seat rattled.
I remembered that this was called "the Third Ring Road". I thought about it for a little while. It must mean that there are at least two other ring roads, I thought. I wondered if there were more than three. But there was no way to know with only the facts I had. I decided that later I would investigate. By finding out more facts, I would discover how many ring roads there were. Facts are very important to detectives as well as authors.
There is an awful lot of traffic in Beijing, it seemed to me. Much more than at home. I was not at all used to it, but I tried not to worry. There is no sense in worrying about something as trivial as a little heavy traffic, I thought to myself.