What’s the one thing that binds most towns and cities worldwide in terms of being absolutely and completely crap? Yep, Taxis (and taxi drivers).
Standing in the line for an hour and a half at 1:00am at Star City casino the other day gave me plenty of time to think about the subject, and I reckon that in pretty much every single city I’ve been to (except maybe Hong Kong), taxis exhibit these similar attributes:
- late or never show for a booking
- never available when it rains, snows or even feels like an unusual weather event
- impossible to get late at night (London and Sydney being two extreme examples)
and are equipped with a driver who:
1. Doesn’t speak English (allowable in non-English speaking countries of course!)
2. Doesn’t wash
3. Drives at the speed of Michael Schumacher with the driving skill of Stevie Wonder
4. Doesn’t know where he’s going
5. Tries to rip you off if he thinks you don’t know either
6. Will attempt to go off-meter or haggle an additional price
7. Will add on all sorts of mysterious extra charges
8. Doesn’t want to go south of the river/north/on a short trip/to the badlands etc etc
9 Will engage you in a one-way conversation on all the subjects he is an expert in (thank you talk radio!)
10 Will spend most of the journey on the phone/pressing random buttons in the cab/sniffing/changing lanes for no reason whatsoever or fiddling with the aircon.
I hate taxis with such a passion that I will go out of my way to find alternative methods of getting somewhere, or simply not bother!
Am I mad or do other people feel the same way?
What I really need is my own private driver