Everyone seems to have a love/hate relationship with the taxi industry. We love that they are there to save us of from delayed trains and striking buses, but we hate almost everything else that involves them. This is a list of the top five reasons (among many others) why some people would rather drive a second-hand FIAT UNO, with a broken bumper, and cling-wrap for windows, than take a taxi.
1. Being the fifth person on a four-seater
Taxi drivers don’t see the problem with packing people on top of each other like bread-loaves, and then charging them full price. On top of this, chances are, the driver will miss your stop because he couldn’t hear you shouting, “after robots”, over that 1998 Phuz’ekhemisi hit. And as you abruptly try to leap out of the taxi with your crushed legs, you are likely to ruin someone’s weave, and upset your co-passengers.
2. The 11nth commandment: “He who sits in front shall count the change”
Do not fight this, for you will lose. We don’t know who made this rule but we follow it as if it was cast in stone. Accept that you are the chosen one and start counting. Your quest: to decipher the change for seven people, from a R100 bill, in a overloaded taxi, costing R13.50 per person. Good luck.
3. …and the subsequent awkwardness when the driver’s takings don‘t add up
First there’s the recount, through which we hope to fish out the culprit and recoup the missing amount. During this process you have to contend with a succession of overlaping testimonies from the passengers pleading their innocence. #NotConvincing.
4. The taxi driver–passenger money standoff
You’re now parked on the side of the road, with an angry driver, who says he won’t leave until his money appears. It doesn’t help that the passengers seem to suspect you took the money, or didn`t pay your fare. You’re late and feel alone. Most importantly, you wish you hadn’t taken the front seat because now you feel like Shakes Mashaba coming back from AFCON 2015.
5. The question of whether or not you will make it to your destination alive
Whenever I’m in a speeding taxi, I just tell myself ‘YOLO’ and pretend I’m riding with a friend who has a serious drug problem, but whom I love regardless. Then there’s the theft: I lost my first smartphone to an old man who was faking an epileptic fit. I wish Mfundi Vundla had been there – such wasted talent!
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