Well, you don’t really stand on the curb and yell, “taxi,” like on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, because if you did they wouldn’t understand what you were saying anyway. You must throw your arm up into the air, wave one down and hope that it is empty, especially if it is raining!!
For the most part, it is pretty simple to get into a taxi. They are usually lined up 5-6 deep, waiting for the next person who waves them down, and if they are not lined up and they see that you need a taxi, they will just fly across 4 lanes of traffic, drive over the median while honking at everybody to get out of their way. Then I am standing there wondering if I want to get in a vehicle with that crazy of a driver anyway. But, so far I just jump in and hope for the best. I have learned that there are particular colors of taxis that you want to try and stay away from. This particular color is WHITE! Stay away from the WHITE taxis!
I hopped into a white taxi one morning about 6:20 am hoping to get to school early enough to use the printer before everybody else got there. Normally, I would have arrived at 6:30 am by taxi. That particular day however, I did not get to school until 7:10 am. TALK ABOUT MAD!
When he took off in the wrong direction, I kept pointing and trying to tell the taxi cab driver to go the other way. I almost know the way to school now. He would only say, “NO,” and throw his arms into the air pointing off into another direction. Of course we did not understand each other’s language, but he did know I wanted to go the other way from my gesturing and pointing, and I knew he wasn’t going to turn around. My taxi ride was 22rmb and 40 minutes long. Normally, in a turquoise, red, or blue taxi the fare would have been 14 rmb and I would have been there in 10 minutes. UGH!
For not understanding English, I am pretty sure he knew I was irritated when he finally dropped me at the front gate of the school. I arrived just as the rest of the teachers came in by bus! Life sucks……if you let it!
Another time I jumped into a blue taxi heading to church only to realize I didn’t have any money on me! I must say, I had to do some quick gesturing and use words that I hoped meant STOP and PLEASE WAIT WHILE I RUN UP TO THE ATM AND GET SOME MONEY!” Miraculously, it worked. He waited for me to jump out at the next corner and get some money. As I jumped back in, and he headed toward church a crazy motorcycle rider was weaving in and out of traffic in front of us. He almost hit the taxi and several other cars came close to hitting him.
The taxi driver was angry and was shouting at him. He kept gesturing at me to look at how crazy he was driving. I had already seen him and was trying to tell him that I understood he was a “BAD motorcycle driver.” I guess he thought I didn’t understand because then in order to show me what he meant, I guess, he started weaving back and forth like the motorcycle was doing. OMG! Then the motorcycle driver took his hands off the handlebars and threw them up into the air. OH NO! Please tell me the taxi driver is not going to do the same. CRAP! His hands were in the air, and he was yelling at him. Oh how I wished I had known how to speak Chinese at that moment so I could have told him I understood his dilemma and could he please keep his hands on the steering wheel! All I could do was shake my head, shake my finger and say BOO driver, which I had hoped meant BAD driver!
He finally put his hands back on the steering wheel and made a right turn (from the far left hand lane, honking all the way, I might add) toward church. I paid, thanked and jumped all in one motion as soon as he came to a stop. I went and prayed for a red taxi on the way home!