Airport Taxis: The Most Taxing Aspect of Travel
One of the nice things about Dubai Airport is that both terminal 1 and 3 are accessible via metro. One of the not nice things is that I somehow always end up returning to Dubai at an hour when the metro is not running. While I’m not thrilled that the starting fare for these taxis is 5 times as much as it is in the rest of the city, that’s something I can live with. However I believe that passengers should be warned beforehand if their driver is a smart aleck.
Recently, after getting off a plane which had been considerably delayed, thus not only preventing me from taking the metro but also cutting into my hours of sleep before work, I found myself standing in the taxi queue at Dubai Airport. Unsuspectingly, I got into the assigned taxi and gave the driver my address. Since it was late at night and there was not much traffic I figured I should ask him to use a bridge without a toll.
“Can we use the Maktoum Bridge?”
Some kilometres later…
“Hey that sign says Maktoum Bridge is closed”
“Yup I knew that”
“Oh, why did you bring me here if you knew?”
“Let’s take another bridge then”
“Isn’t that bridge normally closed at this hour?”
I was already a bit cranky at this point from my long journey and the prospect of limited sleep, so it took considerable effort to bite my tongue before telling him to take the Garhoud Bridge. Now as we came down the Garhoud Bridge he took an early exit instead of continuing straight to the address I’d given him.
“Hey where are you going? You were supposed to go straight”
“You did say you wanted to go via the Maktoum Bridge so I’m driving past there”
“I don’t want to go there after crossing another bridge!”
“It’s not my fault the Maktoum Bridge was closed”
It may not have been his fault the bridge was closed, but inventing reasons to make the journey longer certainly was. As I paid him I told him that this journey had cost me nearly 50% more than I usually pay. His exact words were “that’s okay for me”.
At least he can say he goes the extra mile for his passengers, even if they would rather he didn’t.
well, at least this was an effort to make more money by driving you around the city. In my town taxi drivers often just cheat, especially when it comes to driving tourists – suddenly the taximeter starts doubling if not tripling the price, so even as a local resident I can’t let my guard down when using a taxi service and sometimes coming home late at night I still have to do some bargaining with a taxi driver if I feel his charges suddenly became too fat at the end of the trip
That’s downright crazy. I thought I was being smart by refusing to get in cabs in foreign cities unless they used meters. That is utter madness!
Is there a lot of corruption in Lithuania?
well, there’s definitely some corruption. I’ve never had to give a bribe, and hopefully never will, but I certainly notice here and there that some people are treated better, their requests are processed faster only because they might have given an ‘envelope’ or have useful acquaintances. But I’d say it’s getting better. Now if someone could only figure out how to make some of the officials to understand that I’m also their client and sort of employer so they would work faster and stop treating my requests as if their doing some f* FAVOR for me it would be bliss.
I suppose “favouritism” is a global problem. In Dubai we have a special term for having contacts, wasta. While bribes as uncommon (as far as I know) having wasta will open doors you didn’t know existed.
Has corruption increased or decreased since the Soviet era?
Oh, definitely decreased and quite greatly 🙂
So much for everyone being equal under communism
indeed 🙂 Animal farm by Orwell in real life or all are equal but some are more so
My communism walking tour guide in Budapest used the exact same quote 🙂
Animal farm in general and that quote in particular are like an inside joke for the whole post-communist region. I don’t know how come that Orwell’s work was not censored and came out in full version (when even classics like Uncle Tom’s Cabit had been seriously maimed by censorship), but anyone who ever came into personal contact with soviet regime and communism and it’s ‘equality for all’ nightmare could recognize how on target Orwell was in his work. To some degree same could be said about his 1984. Only the latter is not that easily read as Farm, thus less quoted.
Such a shame though considering how much sense Marx made. The Soviets were nothing short of abysmal and after a recent trip to Croatia I’m starting to question Tito. Although I suppose some might argue that capitalism is failing many.
What would of happened if you didn’t have the extra money to pay for this crazy trip?? I (in previous city) had my brother came for a visit from another province, we went out for a few drinks and luckily we were close to home and could walk. Along our little trip we passed a cab pulled over, the driver had pulled the passenger out and was pounding the crap out of him and yelling ” I have a wife and kids to feed, how can you waste my time and cost me money?” pound pound!!!. When he saw us he let the guy up and gave him a shove, jumped in his cab and drove away!
I’m sure (hope) drivers in Dubai aren’t so rough??
Oh my god that’s terrible! I’ve never seen something like that in Dubai. I know people who have asked their drivers to stop at ATMs to get cash so I suppose that is a solution. When I was younger there were times (in both Dubai and Toronto) where I asked the cab driver to stop as soon as the fare climbed to my budget. Fortunately I’ve never had to walk than a kilometre when getting out early.