Reading List // Hack – Melissa Plaut

As a long time lover of all things New York i’m always interested in learning about different places and people, hearing about the city from their point of view.

Hack is the story of New Yorker Melissa Plaut, who at 29 doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. She decides to start living it as an adventure, rather than sit unsatisfied in an office job day by day, so acts on her previously fleeting idea of becoming a taxi driver – much to the horror of her parents.

The book, adapted from the blogs she wrote on the way, follows her journey from license application and training, to driving the streets of New York City. Where she realises not only is she in the minority – in terms of 99% of other drivers being men, but also in nationality, with all the other trainees being non-Americans who have arrived in New York to find their non-American degrees in law and medicine count for nothing, and are trying to quickly retrain to find a new source of income.

I found the book fascinating, from things you never think about – like fitting in toilet breaks, and the stress and strain on the body of sitting in a cab for 12 hours a day, to the different stories of the different types of clientele riding in Melissa’s cab. 

It will change your view on taxi drivers, and open your eyes to the trials and dangers they face on the hectic streets of the busiest city in the world. And make you think about your own life… about wanting to get as many experiences into it as possible.

“So what’s your next step? What will your next adventure be?”

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