A couple nights ago I went out for a few drinks with some girls from my program for one of their birthdays. We went to some bar not far from my house, I’d say it takes 15 minutes tops by car if the roads aren’t busy. I took a taxi because I knew I’d have at least a couple drinks and obviously wasn’t going to want to drive, and I ended up staying there for quite a while. By the time I left to flag down a taxi it was close to 2 am.
The point of this story is the interaction I had with the taxi driver. He presumed arrogantly that because I was a young girl leaving a bar late at night that I must be completely plastered. I wasn’t drunk in the least. Tired, yes, but undoubtedly coherent. He decided that I must be so out of it that he could pull one over on me and take me sight seeing in my own hometown. It went like this:
Taxi driver: Hi. Where would you like to go?
I gave him my house address, thanked him, and sat quietly in the backseat. He proceeded to drive on, and I sat there eagerly awaiting my chance to crawl into bed and sleep. Somehow that wasn’t going to be the end of my night, however, as I noticed the taxi driver going in the complete opposite direction of my house.
Me: Umm… sorry but where are you going?
Taxi driver: To your house.
Me: My house is actually the other direction.
He pulls up to the left hand turn lane and we sit for a few minutes at a red light. Since it’s 2 am the roads are dead. It’s just me and him in this horrible taxi ride of bullshit.
Taxi driver: No, I am going the right way.
Me: It’s much faster if you turn right here and go down this road. I can direct you.
Taxi driver: I know where I’m going.
Me: Sorry, I know you can go this way to get there, but it takes twice as long. Can we just go the other way, please?
Taxi driver: Well, I’m already in this left turn lane.
Me: There’s nobody on the roads, I’m sure it’ll be fine if you just go.
Taxi driver: I can’t do that. Don’t worry it doesn’t take any longer going this way.
Me: Yes it does.
Taxi driver: No, no. It’s about the same distance.
I was pretty grumpy from being tired, and my annoyance level was escalating very quickly. I mean who is this guy to contradict me? I’m a paying customer. Don’t try and pull this crap on me man.
Me: Sorry but I have lived here for over twenty years and I can assure you it takes much longer this way.
Taxi driver: No it’s fine. You just relax back there, little girl. I’ll get you home in no time.
Even more annoyed now at being dismissed and called “little girl” in a very disrespectful way.
Me: I think I know the fastest route to my house, man. You just want to go this way so that it costs me more money.
Taxi driver: What? I don’t think so.
Taxi driver: I’ll get you home.
Me: Look, I’ll just get out here I don’t need to spend so much money. I’d rather walk.
I gave him a scowl through the mirror. He sighed at this point and then finally corrected his route and went the proper way.
Taxi driver: Okay fine I go this way.
Me: Thank you.
We rode for the next 10 minutes in horribly tense and uncomfortable silence, although I had a wonderful sense of self-satisfaction from having won the argument.
I think there must be some invisible aura of argument emanating from me because somehow I always end up having bizarre debates with people. Or maybe I just seem really easy to manipulate and rip off. When I was younger I was incredibly shy and so took a lot of crap from people in positions of authority. I also had one really horrible encounter with someone once and ever since then I decided I need to develop a tough skin and stand up for myself. So while I have been developing a confident take-no-crap personality on the inside, my physical self has not caught up yet, so I still have people trying to walk all over me.
Aren’t they surprised when it turns out to be the opposite. I almost enjoy it now. Almost.
Any one else ever have a taxi driver try and take the longest route possible? What did you do?