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Melbourne cabs are dirty, drivers stink and many don't have a clue how to get to well-known landmarks like the MCG.

When Kennett was premier he ran a personal campaign to lift the standard but with stupid Bracks in charge they're worse than ever.

Thanks Slatts, I imagine Geelong cabbies are a little more civilised ?

David, I never understand why cabbies insist on trying to rip foreigners. Well, aside for the money. Personally, I couldn't be bothered trying such tricks because I'm just happy to have the meter ticking.

But mainly due to the fact that not only is the correct route usually so familiar but the mental pressure of using a longer route, with the real chance the passenger is aware of this, coupled with a certain guilt means it's simply not worth the extra couple of bucks.

I also operate on the knowledge that the sooner I drop off, the sooner I get to turn the meter again and claim the flagfall, $2.80.

Hence your Korean driver was the architect of his own drama and stress which is simply unnecessary when driving cabs. Survival requires drivers avoiding such pressure.

Most cabbie's are Good. One or two of them are arseholes but you get that I guess. If your unhappy with them then you ring the cab company and report them to the shift supervisor.

For Singapore.

Sometimes they will try to probe you about the exact directions that you want to take. If you show them that you don't really know, and also depending on how their business has been for the day, you might find yourself taking the 'scenic' route. This happens to locals and foreigners alike.

I'm a casual driver in a smallish regional Victorian town - 8 cabs, 10,000+ population. I moved here about 4 years ago and driving a cab seemed the best way to get to know the town. Most locals get really pissed off when I don't know the exact way to where they want to go. And they have the most direct route worked out almost to the centimetre! My biggest hassle is being asked to stop the meter while the passenger gets out to pop into a shop...
And then there's the drunks who grumble for the whole trip because I don't know who they are or where they live and they can't be bothered trying to remember through their groggy haze...

Hi Peter and welcome. If your town like most other Aussie towns then you'll need another 15 years before you'll be accepted as a local. Not sure about stopping the meter whilst passengers go shopping though. Tell 'em, 'Nobody works for love, only family'. Interestingly, the Irish consistently try that trick on me.

I had the same experience in S. Korea. But the Philipines are far, far worse. Actually got robbed by a cab driver.

Just found your blog. Am a former taxi driver in the US many years ago (1981-7 in Norfolk, VA and Colorado Springs, CO) and now work in Washington, DC. It's really interesting reading about taxi driving in other places.

90% of all Washington taxi drivers are immigrants (the Subcontinent a frequent point of origin) and some are so new that they can't get to National Airport or the Capitol. Taxis are inexpensive here by

Taxis in Perth are the most expensive in the World apart from Tokyo or London. Drivers are generally good.

Cabs in South East Asia are usually dirt cheap but hard-nosed negotiating is required. Tourists are commonly charged 10-15 times the meter rate if they don't know what they are doing.

I live most of the time in Hong Kong. Last week, just for a laugh, I let a driver take me the long way home - usually I nip the long way in the bud at the first turn.

Anyway, on arrival I thanked the driver for the entertainment, telling him that the only way he could have taken longer was to use the cross harbour tunnel twice (we didn't need to cross the harbour). He insisted it was the shortest way - until I said Jordan Rd, Gascoigne Rd etc etc was the correct route.

He said then that I could have insisted he go that way. His argument fell down when he admitted that as he'd picked me and my baggage up at the Airport station, it was quite possible I was a tourist and wouldn't have known the short way . . . I hadn't spoken in Cantonese, and I'd asked to be taken to a hotel (next door to my home). All in all it was a laugh for both of us, and I gave him the meter fare and a tip - the difference between the long way and the short way worked out as AUD1.20

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