Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rantings of a Desperate Taxi Rider in Makati

Flagging a taxi in Makati on a rainy night is a nightmare. I think it is every taxi rider's nightmare. Be forewarned.

On the evening of Sept 28, 2009 (the one before Ondoy struck the country), we flagged six or seven taxis in a row. It was a rainy night then. They all refused to let us in. One said he was "on his way to Cavite." Another said he was "on his way to Pasay." Still another was "on his way to Parañaque," etc.

Taxis were public utility vehicles without fixed routes, but they sounded like they had routes that night. And Quezon City, to them, was like a place on the far side of the moon, way out of their routes. Gosh, I thought and felt that was absurd.

I decided to have some fun with them after being refused a number of times. When I flagged the next taxi, my question was, "Saan po ang rota nyo?" ("What's your route sir?") One actually had the nerve to say, "Parañaque po!"

It felt good to be the one to refuse the taxi rather than him refusing me. I told him, "Ah sige, iba po pupuntahan ko. Umalis na po kayo" then turned my back. It really felt good!

I got this feeling that taxi drivers felt elated every time they refused a passenger a ride during times when passengers desperately needed a ride. After all, passengers refused to ride with them when the sun was up and the weather was fine. When it rained, it was the time for taxi drivers to get back.

They felt they could choose which destination they wanted to go, and the passengers couldn't do anything about it.

What I finally did was find my way to a bus. Because of traffic along EDSA, I felt taking a taxi won't make much difference. Besides, taxi drivers would tend to blame you for the traffic anyway. They would make you feel like that traffic jam was your fault. Worse, they would make you feel like you were indebted to them for giving you a ride.

My advice to everyone is, on a rainy evening, decide outright to take a bus. Don't even think of flagging a taxi at least once. Don't give them that pleasure of refusing you a ride to where you want to go.

You work hard all day, you deserve some courtesy. I still have to see a taxi driver who would let you ride with a smile without questions on a rainy night in Makati.

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