Dirty old taxis

The taxi I rode to work this morning was really crappy: old, dirty, smelly and the airconditioning didn’t work. When he pulled over maybe I should have signalled “no” and waited for a nice new one. . . but I didn’t. Instead I figured, he must be poorer than the drivers of new taxis, and has a harder time getting passengers, so it’s an altruistic thing to help him out. On the other hand, maybe that’s just rationalizing. What do you think? Do you turn down many crappy old taxis?

On a similar subject, what pisses me off is taxi drivers who post a no-smoking sticker on the window, but you get inside and it smells like an ashtray. It’s false advertising, and I always feel I should get out immediately because the driver’s a dishonest bastard. What do you do?

I think some taxi drivers live – eat, sleep, drive, drink, chew betel nuts – in their cabs, and this helps to explain the smell, but it does not excuse it. I also like cab drivers who have their seats pushed so far back that I can’t fit in, unless I sit sideways, and who refuse to adjust it. Of course, being a smart shopper, I go and find a different filthy cab with a more polite driver.

Would you choose a clean hotel over a stinky roach motel, if the room rates were the same?

I wait for those big plush cabs. They smell nice and the drivers are usually friendlier.

On a similar note, my wife told me that new fares were being bandied around. Supposedly these new tarrifs are to be based on the age of the vehicle.

Ha ha ha. That’s funny. On good mornings I think like you and dole out my meagre welfare to the poor schmuck with the stinky shitbox. However on those mornings when I am the alpha male I wave off the shitboxes and flag in new cars only.

Last week I had the misfortune of arriving at the lights next to the driver of the shitbox I’d just waved off as I sat in a new taxi being blasted by top notch aircon. I swear he glared at me!


I usually choose the nicer (newer) ones though it doesn’t always guarantee that the drivers are nicer, too.

And if I die in Taipei traffic I want to die in style, not in a shitty old taxi. :smiley:


I think I had the same cab this morning, it was too bloody hot to wait for another… but then I get in and MAJOR mistake. I think the guy was a bit off… he kept laughing at something, got me what it was, and the AC sucked bigtime. I opened the window so at least the air was moving…

In this heat, who wants to be driving around in a foul-smelling taxi with no air-con and bad brakes and transmission when they could be cruising along in a plush, nice-smelling, air-conditioned cab for the same price?! Having said that, the two taxis I took today were of the first variety. Maybe I was feeling sympathetic towards the “poorer” taxi drivers, or maybe it was just my bad luck that both times a shitty taxi stopped for me instead of a nice new one, and I didn’t have the heart to wave them on :? ! I like the idea of different rates depending on the taxi’s age – at least I won’t feel like a sucker riding in the shitty taxi :wink: !

I always take the nicest, biggest taxi I can find. It is too damned hot here, and I’m too tall, to sit in a small taxi with no air conditioning. I feel for the little guy, but not enough to arrive at my destination covered in sweat with banged up knees from sitting in the pill box back seat.

I too wait for a decent taxis. At least in Shanghai the crappy taxis are cheaper.

But do you wave the stinky ones away, or do you look the other way and pretend? :laughing:

I usually open the door first to check it has a/c. If not, I just say “Eeeew, hao chou!” shut the door and wave down the next decent-looking one I see. I also don’t get in those little tiny ancient Ford Lasers. Had a nice one the other day though – some kind of brand new SUV, even had a personal TV screen mounted in the back of the front seat.