In many countries bargaining for the fare is part of the journey. This can take a few minutes and is very much a part of the culture. On one occasion, I was taken by surprise when the Tuk-Tuk driver said the journey would be just 10 baht. Only as the journey progressed did the full picture emerge. I was informed I would be going shopping in a local shopping mall. Of course, this was not my original plan, especially as I was on my way to a business appointment.
As I was duly driven up to the entrance of the shopping mall, I realised the “revised” plan. I would walk through the mall and meet my tuk-tuk the other end. He would duly be paid for bringing custom to the shopping venue and I would reach my appointment in time – for the 10 baht. All worked out amicably and I learned more of life in that Asian city.
On another occasion, I was en route to the airport and only about half a mile from the destination we encountered a roundabout that had “seized-up”. No one could move in any direction. I surveyed the situation and realised that one road entering the roundabout had only three or four vehicles. Thus, I left the cab and sought to encourage the drivers in this feeder-road to reverse and begin to free-up the flow. This was not so easy but in the end “common sense” prevailed and after a while the jam unwound and traffic moved again. I caught my flight ok.
An amazing incident was in a large Asian city. Three or four Europeans hailed a taxi and climbed in. The driver seemed somewhat nervous and a few moments later he turned into the oncoming traffic at a large intersection. The police were with him almost immediately. It was sad really as this was his first day driving the taxi and we were his first clients. He was so overwhelmed trying to assist us that he forgot to turn into the correct lane. Of course, we sought to negotiate with the police officer to be lenient with our “friend”.