Hi everyone. Oni here.
You remember me, right?
I wrote something for you once… about Nabi’s difficulties with the showers in Korea…
I’m here to tell you about taxis!
First of all, if a cab driver doesn’t want to go where you want him to take you… he won’t. He’ll tell you to get out of his cab. Sometimes verbally, sometimes they’ll just point at you and then at the door. Once, after an unprecedented string of get-out-of-my-cabs, I theorized that I was being tossed out because I look like trouble. My friends dismissed this idea out of hand (whatever, losers).
Cab drivers do not care about traffic laws. I have lost count of the times drivers have broken the speed limit, run red lights, etc. The most terrifying ride I’ve ever had involved a cab driver who went over 60 mph in the middle of the city and over an interchange, turned into oncoming traffic, and used his horn liberally. He was not my new best friend.
Sometimes cab drivers are incredibly nice and helpful. Once, when I was quite new to Korea, a driver could tell when I got out of the cab that I wasn’t sure where I was. He parked and waited until I oriented myself. Another, having asked us our plans for the holiday, showed Nabi and I where we’d need to go the next day; found a clean, reasonably priced hotel for us; came in to the hotel and translated price, etc (AFTER turning off the meter); and even arranged for a wake-up call.
Some cab drivers like to get in fights! When Nabi and I arrived in Busan one night, we got into a cab, told the driver our destination, the driver made a U-turn, and off we went… or so we thought. The driver got a call about thirty seconds later and started yelling into his phone. Then he parked the cab on the curb, told us to “wait a minute,” got out of the cab, and yelled at someone on the other side of the road. When he got back in the cab, he made a second U-turn, told us to wait again, and yelled some more. He finally moved us into his friend’s cab so he could wait for the person he really wanted to fight, who wasn’t present (yet). And just last night, Nabi’s driver got into a fist-fight with a drunk who was blocking the road.
Lastly, some rides are just awkward. Like the time I opened the door to discover someone already inside. I backed away, apologizing profusely, but both the driver and the passenger (a woman) motioned for me to get in. I did, and the lady helpfully explained that she was the driver’s wife. Even if she hadn’t told me, I would’ve figured that out, as the two proceeded to bicker and fight for the entire trip. Meanwhile, I made myself as small as possible in my corner of the cab.
And… that’s all I have to say about taxis!