Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tales of a Ugandan Taxi Passenger - 3

Just when i thought my taxi experiences were becoming quite normal once again - is when I landed on a suicidal driver. I boarded a taxi that had only 2 passengers and quietly settled in to enjoy my ride; or so I thought. But as soon as we alighted I knew this was nothing but my own sentiment which the driver did not share for immediately he sped off almost leaving his conductor behind. If that was not enough he was also soliciting for passengers as we sped along at a break neck speed but was too impatient to wait at any stage for the taxi to fill up. In addition to that, he was very erratic and he run his mouth a great deal as he swerved back and forth in and out of the correct lane as if to overtake at very inappropriate locations such as corners or places of parking at stages. I say erratic because - I myself like to drive quite fast but driving fast does not mean drive stupid or have a death wish and this was the manner in which he was driving.

In one instance, there was a taxi parked on the opposite side of the road which had only 2 lanes and we were behind a relatively fast moving one. He decided to attempt to overtake at this point when we were going downhill and approaching a roundabout, the taxi ahead of us was picking up momentum and there was also the trailer that was over taking the taxi across the road parked at the bus stop. It beats my understanding how in his mind he thought that his taxi was as narrow in width as 2 boda bodas (local term to mean public pay motor cycle transport service common in Uganda) carrying passengers for that was the only space available, so he swung us back into our lane and we were thrown around like a set of pool balls which had been hit with a cue stick.

To add to this ordeal all the other passengers alighted mid journey and owing to his impatience, I remained the sole passenger for the rest of the ride (or so I thought). Then out of the blue, only 3 stages shy of my point of alighting, he informed me while making a U-turn at the roundabout that he would be dropping me off at that stage as he had made the executive decision to change his route with no consultation. This is due to the crowd of 6 individuals that had caught his eye across the road who were heading in the opposite direction. 

So as the taxi came to a screeching halt at the stage, I was asked for the full fare and given my marching orders as the new passengers shoved me aside in a bid to make their way into the taxi heading in the direction from which I had come. 

Then I thought to myself this is adequate motivation for me to work hard and smart and become my own transport provider - aka own my own car. It may take a couple of years but in the meantime i will keep these stories coming. Enjoy.
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