Taxis in Bangkok

THIS IS A TRANSLATED VERSION OF THIS SWEDISH POST!
  

One thing is bugging me every time I set foot in Bangkok. The taxis, or the drivers actually, and their averseness towards driving. Further than 3 meters. I will explain my point.

 

”Nooooo, it’s too far!”

 

This answer I hear amazingly often whenever I want to go somewhere. It’s too far. Too far for what, that’s what I’d like to know. And besides when I want to go by meter, they should be happy; if it’s far the meter’s ticking. Is it fixed price? Well, up the price then! Sometimes I’m so desperate to go somewhere or simply just to get home anyone could’ve overcharged me easily, but they won’t even do that. They simply refuse to drive me.

 

“Too many cars today!”

 

The other day Oh, Lina, Tobbe, and I was on our way to the hotel where Lina’s brother David and his family were staying, in the vicinity of Khao San Road. We stayed in a hotel in an area called Sukhumvit. This particular day the grumpy drivers had got their minds set on the impossibility of driving anywhere at all. There were just so many cars out on the streets – today. Well we’re in Bangkok, so that makes somewhat sense, 12 million people actually lives here. One might expect these people driving their cars once in a while. The day in question was some sort of festival or whatever, so, like I’ve said all drivers were feeling very negative towards driving further than 3 meters.

 

What is a taxi, really?

thailand36

 

It tends to look rather absurd when a taxi driver gives you the answer: nope, I don’t want to go there, it is too far. What is after all a taxi? Something you jump into whenever you want to go around the corner or something you want when you’re going a bit further? At home I’ve gotten the impression taxis don’t want to go when it’s just a block, or close by, but here in Thailand taxis rather don’t go when it’s LONGER than a block. Go figure!

 

Finally we managed to get hold of a taxi, mainly because Lina and Tobbe asked the hotel to call for one. The trip didn’t even take 10 minutes, and the streets were oddly enough basically empty. So it was neither far nor heavily trafficked.

 

They’re looking at their watches, shaking their heads regrettably – “Too many cars!”

 

One of the two standard arguments for not driving, where as one being ”It’s too far!”, is usually where you’re going is full of cars. ”So many cars”? Well, yeeeeees, I can imagine. Once again, we’re in Bangkok with 12 million other citizens. I guess all of them don’t have cars, but a lot of them do, so inevitably, that makes a lot of cars.

 

To avoid all of them is a pretty impossible task in Bangkok

 

So, I haven’t a clue and I’m getting tired of cluelessness, please anybody, give me a sensible answer to why the taxi drivers in Bangkok prefer to not drive further than 3 meters, and rather not drive amongst other cars? You might speculate all you want, together we might solve the riddle about the chimearas living in the drivers’ heads!

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