Listening to a BBC report on the Korean Peninsula tensions recently, I was quite amused when I head life was as usual in the Southern capital, Seoul. In fact, the presenter said shopkeepers were as friendly as ever and the taxi drivers were still rude as they always were and trying to fleece customers. Everything was just normal, she said.
Taxi drivers, I guess, are the same everywhere, from Mumbai to Manchester and from Amsterdam to Addis Ababa – they will always try to make a fast buck, never mind the pre-paid system in several major cities, coupled with strict policing.
While covering a tourism story for the newspaper some time ago, I came across these drivers trying to con a group pf German visitors who were smart enough to not fall in their trap. One of them even told me the situation was the same in any major German city and anywhere in Europe. “We have to just watch out,” he said.
That said, a taxi ride in Bahrain is perhaps one of the expensive anywhere in this part of the world, especially so if one has to go to and from the international airport. Efforts are being made to get in private operators but those do not seem to have worked.
On the other hand, “private taxi” drivers, who hire cars and run, have a field day by offering rates 50 per cent less than regular taxis, even at the cost of detection and possible deportation.
Seems the lure of easy cash is far too much to resist. But, then, who cares?