Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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Unten Daiko
Being interested in two cultures is bound to alert one to myriad business opportunities in the field of import-export. Of course I want to sell Marmite to the Japanese, and fill the empty shipping containers with kotatsu for the return journey. Who wouldn't?

In particular, though, I wonder why no one in the West (as far as I know) has taken up the idea of "unten daiko"?

Imagine that you've driven to work and get asked out for a drink afterwards. You can't go, or at least you can't drink alcohol, because you've got to drive home afterwards. Annoying! Or, imagine you've been invited to a party, in a place that's not well served by public transport. Obviously, if you mean to drink you can't take your car, and will have to get a taxi both ways. Expensive!

This is where unten daiko (運転代行 - roughly, "substitute driver") comes in. The unten daiko taxi has two drivers. One gets into your car with you and drives you home, while the other follows behind. At the end, your driver hops back into the unten daiko car and they disappear into the night. Yes, it's a bit more expensive than an ordinary taxi (you're paying for two people, after all, and presumably they need extra insurance for driving other people's cars), but now your car isn't stranded far away from your house.

This system seems such an obviously good idea for any place that doesn't have excellent public transport (i.e. almost anywhere outside a big city) that I can't believe it's not found its way to the West. So, if you feel like it, set up an unten daiko company with my blessing, and watch the profits roll in!

(I only want 5%.)

I've been wondering about that - purely disinterestedly, as I rarely drink alcohol myself, and never above absorption level. B. will drink wine at family gatherings, but only when I'm present and therefore driving.

C'mon how different is this from a US designated driver? I am off to watch that Trans America thing on C4 at 10 pm.

Isn't the designated driver just a member of one's own group, though? Whereas this is a business - but otherwise, yes it's a similar idea.

There was a business in London which did something similar, great for "resting" actors apparently.

I've seen something very like this advertised in pubs in Leeds. The only difference from what you describe is that instead of a second driver following in a second car, you get one driver who puts a fold-up electric bike in your boot, drives you home, and then heads off again on the bike. So, alas, I think your route to riches has already been trodden.

That's a neat (and cheap) variation on the same idea! Oh well, back to the scratchcards...

I've seen articles about companies that dispatch drivers on folding electric bikes or scooters, which will fit in the customer's car for the ride home. But I don't know if they're currently operating.

aha, now I know!

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