Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Throwing Rocks at Taxis

The neighborhood kids having been using the word "hate" a lot. They throw it at each each other causing tears and pain. All the parents have talked about removing this word from their vocabulary. "Hate" is a strong word. "Hate" is an emotional word. I have come to realize that "hate" is a word that I use frequently in Shanghai while shaking my fists and stomping my feet. It can not be removed. "I hate _________!" (Fill in the blank).

"I hate taxis!" This is my most common exclamation. Those little beat up, cigarette smelling, half-tone painted vehicles are everywhere with their honking and nosing into the pedestrian right-of-way.

Most of the drivers are from the provinces. They cannot read pinion or English, only Characters. They do not speak English and can not understand my poor pronunciation. Thinking that I have figured out the game, I hand the driver a business card or note painstakingly written in characters taken from Google Translate.
Twice, the drivers pulled over and kicked me out of their taxi yelling something unintelligible and shaking their reading glasses at me. I am not the only one who has been kicked out of a car for making a driver put on his glasses to read. Why do they keep their glasses in a case on the dashboard and not more accessible? I hate taxi drivers.

A green light on top means that they are trolling for passengers and a red light means that there are passengers riding. Bullshit! Those green taxi drivers don't even look for passengers. They drive by at full speed taunting would-be passengers. Sometimes there are passengers, sometimes not. 20 minutes can pass with red, green, and no light taxis driving by hordes of people waving on the corner and not a single driver will stop. Fuck you taxi drivers.

The story is that these taxis are responding to a call from one of the apps. There are other stories that drivers do not like Westerners. I think these are all true. We need them more than they need us. It makes me angry.

Uber has come to Shanghai, but do I really want a luxury car to pick me up for twice the price?  The one time I road in an Uber car it got into a car accident, with itself, in the middle of an empty 2 lane road. Yes, that happened. How about one of the taxi apps I hear so much about? Well I can't figure out what the required app is. Maybe it is my Chinese phone, my Chinese app store, and my Chinese search engine, but this particular app is beyond me.

Alright you fuckers be warned. I have filled my pockets with rocks. If you don't stop I will throw rocks at you. Oh yes I will. I have cargo pants with lots of pockets and I am not afraid to fill those pockets with rocks. Rocks with your registration plate on them.

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