Taxi ride – a roller-coaster with bizarre moments

IF you thought skipping a red robot is the worst thing a taxi driver can do, well think again.

While some complain about road rage, others have to constantly pray for their lives on the road daily – and sometimes pray they make it to work on time.

A taxi ride is an uncomfortable roller-coaster that shakes you from side to side, leaving you breathless and screaming the Lord’s name with your hands held tightly on the seat handles.

It is fraught with bizarre moments that make you question your own sanity.

Apart from their ‘unique’ driving skills, some taxi drivers do not allow you to speak any English. If you dare say ‘because’, well you are in trouble.

As if that is not enough, you still have to deal with the driver’s tantrums over his collection. If he feels like it, he stops in the middle of the highway just because the money is R1 short.

Whether you are on your way to work or for an interview, well, for him that’s your problem.

For those who don’t know, in a taxi, fees are passed on from the back to the front.

If you are seated at the front you automatically become the driver’s accountant. You collect and count money from the passengers.

Passing money can be a daunting experience though, especially if you have small wrinkled hands like mine.

Passengers always start looking at them like I’m about to give them a deadly infection.

It’s even worse when the passenger behind you grabs your shoulder for attention – leaving that dirty smudge on your clean white shirt.

But what’s even worse than that is how people’s change automatically becomes your problem.

If you dare say something, there is always that lady with a long weave and nails who will say something.

Not only will you spend the next hour discussing that missing 50 cents, but attacks like ‘why did you seat in a front if you can’t count’ will come from all sides.

I can still take all that though, even people start sniffing you as if you boarded with a dead rat or being squashed at the backseat with an overweight woman who can’t stop bragging about her new curtains.

I have even learned to tolerate the smell of a combination of fragrances because it is taboo to have the windows open.

If you dare open the window, you get a death stare from that weave lady who is talking to her boyfriend.

But of course it can’t be a decent taxi ride without a young woman, plastered with a thick make-up, thinking she is one hot mama.

She keeps fiddling with her phone and chewing the life out of her gum.

With all the commotion that happens daily in taxis, there is only one thing that really gets to me.

It’s that large aunty who occupies a seat and a half, and won’t stop eating fried fish. Not to mention the child on her lap who gets a thrill out of kicking you with his tiny shoe, rubbing all that dirt onto your favourite pair of pants.

And the large aunty will just smile, with chewed food on the side of her mouth and say ‘I haven’t received my change’ – spitting bits and pieces of that chewed fried fish.


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Wellington Makwakwa

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