Monday, December 22, 2008

Terrorized by the Taxi Driver

I'm all about principles and I have strong convictions and I'm about as stubborn as they come. It's possible that that combination of traits will either get me thrown in jail, killed or both but I definitely won't be the one getting carted off to prison for stealing bottles of champagne at a swanky Parisian club. On the other hand it is quite possible that I would be partly responsible for the kidnapping of a friend by crazed Parisian taxi driver.

Some city dwellers when it comes to public transportation swear by taxis, some swear by the bus and others swear by the metro. I personally hate taxis. I hate waiting for them, I hate the fares and I especially hate being taken for a ride (sorry for the lame pun) which brings me back to the kidnapping story. After a night of shenanigans it was time to call it a night and head home. My two friends and I hopped into a taxi and headed home. My friend YM told the driver where we were going and we were on our way. A few minutes into the taxi ride I suggested a specific route and a modified destination to the cab driver. This combined with our speaking English amongst ourselves apparently set him off. After threatening to not pay the fare and asking to be let out of the taxi the driver took off like a lunatic throughout the neighborhood, ran several red lights in the process and eventually after sufficiently terrorizing his passengers came to a stop. That was my cue to exit the taxi stage left. YM stayed firmly planted in the backseat of the taxi while Juliet moved to the front passenger seat and the two tried to negotiated a peace agreement and a fair payment.

On principle I wasn't having any of it. I wasn't about to reward this lunatic for his wreckless behavior. After a while I let my friends convince me that we should pay the driver something, granted his did bring us closer to my place. But in exchange for the fare I asked that he provide me with his taxi driving credentials (license number, employer or something so I could report the incident) This request sent Mr. Taxi Driver over the edge and took off at high speed with 3 of the 4 doors wide open and my friend YM still in the back seat.

I realize how crazy this story sounds and I realize how much crazier it must have sounded to the Paris police officers we spoke with and to the lady at the embassy. However, for the police to act so nonchalant about it and to essentially give us the ole brush off was not cool. YM couldn't be contacted during the ordeal because the battery on her cellphone had died, which partially worked to her benefit. Fortunately, after over an hour, my friend YM was able to peacefully negotiate her release and was returned home safely and unharmed.

If you see a taxi with these plates run...

1 comment:

Leesa said...

WTF!!!! OMG Jas... I would be sooooo pissed off... and I know you were!!! That is HORRIBLE and he should have his permit taken away.. HOW DARE HE endanger your lives and anyone else on the road... I am sure it's not the first time he's done that... Did the police end up doing anything? What about the embassy??!! This guy would be hunted down in the U.S. I want to beat his butt in!! MAN... I have seen a taxi driver that was two cars in front of us one night on the main street near the center of Antony... The passenger got out of the taxi and the taxi driver started to punch the daylights out of the guy.. I was shocked and demanded Alex to call the police immediately... Two guys stopped to help and held the taxi driver... I sure hope the cops put him away... It's sick...
I've been swindled by a taxi driver in Rome -_ Fu**ker- I was sooo pissed at him for arguing with my about taking me to the airport for 38 euros while I said no-- the train station, which was only 5 minutes from there.. He didn't like that and took me to the one in the center of Rome which was 15 minutes away... and I had to pay 9 extra euros for the train ticket.. Man, I was pissed... He wouldn't take me to the address I asked him for the train station closest to the hotel.. .My taxi cost 15 euros instead of 5 euros plus the extra 9 for the train!!