If you were going to rank people by friendliness, Aussies would certainly finish pretty high on the list (which is one reason Gretchen is such a die-hard Australophile). But I'm convinced that Aussie taxi drivers are an even more gregarious sub-population. Granted, it's not the biggest sample since this is only my fourth time in Australia, but in those times I don't think I've taken a single taxi where the driver didn't talk my ear off the entire way. (One of the high points for Gretchen was when we had a cab driver in Brisbane who dressed like the Crocodile Hunter, called her "love", and said "fair dinkum" while regaling us with stories of northern Queensland.) I'm wondering if it's one of the qualifications when you apply for a taxi license here--if you can't keep up a conversation the whole way from the airport to downtown, then you have to go back for remedial instruction.