Pictures are from Macau from past weekend. I said goodbye to one friend who went back to Finland in Honk Kong and needed some time off from Shenzhen so with same time did trip to Macau.
I wrote about my first hand experience with taxi drivers after couple weeks of stay in China. After a while, I’ve learned some survival techniques when using taxi in Shenzhen.
- First of all, learn Mandarin… or more precisely learn it that much that you can’t have a conversation with taxi driver about whether he wants to drive you into your destination (if you speak fluent Mandarin, I can assure that they will say something in the lines ‘I don’t want to drive there, leave’). Of course good old picture of the place you want to go, or address of the place might be handy… but in case on emergency when you’ve lost them you’re able to find your way back to wherever you’re going.
- In a case of two persons, two destinations let’s split the cost situation, where driver says at first stop to the other one ‘You need to change the cab to another’ (what I’m going to explain next is actual scene from New Year’s). EXCUSE ME, heated conversation in back seat, about how this is not fair… first person gets out from the cab and sits into front seat. Taxi driver is getting off and runs to the same side of the car. One takes a phone from her bag and is taking picture of the drivers licence (licence can be found always in front seat of a taxi), driver pulls put the licence and starts to yell in Chinese. One start to yell back in English. One poor traveler in backseat is trying to cool down the situation. After a while, driver is fine to drive the other passenger to her destination (what happens in that drive a) driver is apologizing that he didn’t in a first place drive there b) how this western girl knew to take a picture of the licence, apparently no one has done that to him before)
- Fasten your seatbelt (if there is a one, usually there is not one in backseat because ‘why would you need one in there?’), it will look funny to local people but after experiencing the traffic in here you might want to seat that belt.
- Be aware that weird things can happen in taxi. The usual spitting out from window, is not surprising anymore. You both (might be) complaining in different languages about the enormous traffic jam, where you sometimes say ‘是的’ (yes) or 我不知道 (I don’t know) in Mandarin to create a comfortable zone while you wait a long time to get into your destination. Some driver might start to play a love song on a repeat the whole drive, and at some point says ‘listen’ and puts the volume up.
But why in the end of day I like the taxi drivers in here? They have always taken me (knock on wood) where I was supposed to go. They are not aggressive as the black cab’s… trying to get you into their fancy cars! And finally most of the times they drive almost the straightest way to your destinations (okay, I might have had couple of times debate about the price… ).