Your best taxi cab experiences
I hopped in a taxi at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka, expecting to go on a 1-hour journey into town. I wasn’t aware that there was a huge motor race taking place that evening in the centre of the city, and loads of roads were blocked off. I hadn’t booked anywhere to stay for my first night (a mistake I’ve never made since) and ended up driving around with the cabbie for FIVE hours trying to find somewhere while avoiding the race area (tricky). At one point I ran – with my big backpack on – through a crowd of people, past the road block and over to the other side of the racetrack to get to the hostel on the other side. After discovering that it, like all the other non-5-star places in the city, was booked up because of the race, it was a pretty sheepish return journey over the racetrack and back to the taxi…
I politely turned down my cab driver’s offer of sleeping in the car with him, and at about midnight, we eventually found a grotty hotel out of the city centre that had a room, but which I had to evacuate by 6am the next morning. The strange noises in the night added to my suspicions that i was staying in a brothel. Never been so glad to find a bed though!
So a friend and me jumped into a cab in Las Vegas which turned out to be a nightmare journey but a funny one at that! Firstly the cab driver refused to take us stating that we could walk, but I pointed out that we were very drunk and therefore had no human GPS turned on, so he kindly accepted knowing we were clearly going to pay more than the average cab ride home.. Our first stop was a McDonalds which Mr Taximan refused again to drive through so me and said friend decided to walk thru & get served much to the entertainment of other revellers of the night. So once we are back in the cab the guy is driving like a mad man and tells me that I now can’t eat in his car, so I sit there minding my own business when 20 minutes later (for what should have been no more than 5 minutes) turn up to our hotel.
As I try to pull out the remains of a heavy night, coins galore, Mr Taximan starts shouting “Hurry up, I have kids to feed” – with my response being “Take my ‘now cold’ mcdonalds then as payment?” This somehow seems to irritate Mr Taximan & as I lose my cool pull out my bank card and slam the car door shut…. SNAP… ooopppssss bank card is now in 2 & no funds to pay the cab!! Luckily my friend was there to pay it & the next day had a rather amusing story to tell others..
Note to self, either walk or have extra cash out to pay haha!!!
I think my best experience of a taxi has to be in Vietnam. In Hoi An they have ‘motorbike taxis’ to take you to the nearby beach – they’re essentially just dodgy looking blokes, hanging around on street corners pimping themselves and their motorbikes out to lazy tourists.
My friend and I decided, in amongst our many dress fitting appointments (because tailoring is what Hoi An is famous for), we’d go to the beach on one of these taxis. It was a great idea at the time, but as soon as we hopped on one each, were given helmets that didn’t fit (mine was far too big and my companion’s too small), and set off we realised the error of our ways. We essentially ended up in a terrifyingly fast drag race between my rusting old bike and hers (we won, I am proud to say), and arrived at the beach pretty shaken – the drivers had a great time though!
We paid our money and the drivers gave us their phone numbers so we could call when we wanted a lift back – it’s safe to say we decided a normal taxi was the better option on the way home…
A looong journey through Malawi – with our driver Everlasting chuckling, giving us a detailed tour of the country, and avoiding his wife’s phone calls – springs to mind.
Lottie Gross Everlasting was his name?! That's amazing...
Tim Chester Sure was. Great name eh?
Lottie Gross I wish we were this creative in naming our children... We once had a cook called Innocent in Kenya, when he introduced himself he didn't understand my "Until proven guilty response"... Went down like a lead balloon.