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Off beat

FYI SOUTH Magazine, May 2007

Taxi Experiences

---By Stiev Huang Translated by Sho Huang

1 - Ke Kuan-Mang, 37, taxi driver

I once took a passenger who didn't have any cash with him. Worse, he somehow damaged his ATM card so he couldn't withdraw any money. He wanted to go from Taoyuan train station to Taipei. However, no taxi drivers were willing to take him. So, he started walking from Taoyuan County Stadium. Luckily, I happened to be on my way back to Taipei so I gave him a ride.

2 - Pang Jin-Mu, 51, taxi driver

I once picked up a drunken passenger who vomited all over the place. However, he paid me extra to cover the cleaning.

3 - Lin Lu-Wen, 46, taxi driver

One time, I gave a mother and her child a ride. The child was screaming and crying his head off and driving us nuts. The mother asked me to play "bad cop", since the child is afraid of strangers, by threatening him that I would sell him. It proved effective. He was quiet within seconds.

4 - Chen Feng-Rong, 62, taxi driver

Once I paid a nun to ride with me. The thing was that she paid me with two 100-dollar bills, which I mistook as two 500-dollar bills, as we were in a hurry. So I gave her NT$300 change. Another time, I picked up a mentally disabled person, who told me to take him to “the market”. There are hundreds of markets; I really didn't know which he had in mind. So I said I would take him to the police station, which really threw him off. However, I took him to the nearest market as he wished.

5 - Frans, 44, freelance photographer

Once I took a taxi and forgot my wallet. I did have a new CD of Jay Chou with me so I offered that to the driver. He refused and dropped me off without payment. Amazingly, the very next day I was in the same area and got the SAME taxi. The taxi driver recognized me and this time I was happy to pay for the fee for that day and the previous day.

6 - Sushi, 22, stylist

Once I flagged down a taxi at Ximending around 1 a.m. It usually takes me 15 minutes to get home from there. However, the driver took Civic Boulevard instead, sped up to 110 km/hour and overtook every car on our way. It only took eight minutes. I felt like I was in the movie, "Taxi." It was pretty scary.


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