Saturday, October 22, 2011

taxi fight!

Amman's cabs are cheap. A ride across the city never costs much more than 3JD (about $4.20). In theory. The real cost of riding cabs here is learning how to use them. I'm still getting there.

Two nights ago, when cabbing back home, alone, I thought I was in good hands. My taxi driver understood my directions, and even offered me some of his coffee. How nice! (Though I don't drink coffee.) We made it to my drop-off spot uneventfully. (I have cabs drop me off a few blocks away from my apartment, because it's safer and quicker.) But when we arrived, the cab driver tried to charge me 4JD for a 1.5JD ride.

Tara: La! Hatha ghali jidan! (No! That is very expensive!)
Cab Driver: Al-adad mukhtalif fil leil! (The meter is different at night!)
Tara: Bas wein al-adad? Shu kala al-adad? (But where's the meter? What does the meter say?)
Tara points to the meter, which the cab driver has covered with a cloth. Tara tries to uncover the meter. Cab Driver prevents her.
Cab Driver: Mukhtalif fil leil! (Different at night!)
Tara: Mish al khanoon! (Not the law!)

In the end, I forced a generous 1.75JD in his hand and walked away. I was a little nervous that the taxi would follow me home, so I walked a very indirect route. But all was ok. Until next time, cab driver.

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