I never gave much thought about it but I realized that I still cannot ride a taxi alone. I don’t have any phobias about riding one because I do but never alone – always with family or friends. I guess it’s also because of the fact that I have been hearing so many stories about criminals posing as taxi drivers and kidnapping people especially here in my country. There is this dread within me that if I ride a taxi on my own, it would be like riding towards the possibility of kidnap or death. It might just be my overactive imagination but what if the taxi I ride will take me not to my real destination but to a warehouse of some sort or a pier and then hand me over to some other evil-looking men and transport me to another country to work as a slave? Sounds crazy, I know. The thought alone scares me.
What made me write about this now is the fact that I was going to be late for school today and I was arguing with myself whether I should take a taxi or not. In the end, I decide not to and instead take the first jeepney that stopped in front of me. I was late of course, much to my dismay. I don’t like being late, especially in class.
So there I was, waiting for the train to arrive thinking that if I had taken the taxi, would I be on time? I am 95% sure I would be because from our house, there’s a shorter way to reach my university. Then again, the thought of safety crept into my head. “Safety first!” my mom, dad, aunt, grandma, grandpa and the list goes on… remind me all the time. With all the dangers lurking in every corner, you never know when one might pounce at you in any given moment.
There’s also this discrepancy between the taxis here and in Taiwan. Despite having cheaper fares here, Taiwan’s taxis are very comfortable, and safe as it comes with a GPS monitor so you never get lost and that also doubles as a television where you can watch the latest news – all in Chinese. They also have this friendly personalities where they will talk to you about very interesting topics such as politics (especially since it was very close to the election time during the span of my stay there.) Meanwhile, a lot of taxi drivers here are more interested about sharing to you their life stories that by the time you arrive at your destination, you know half of his life already. Or sometimes they like to talk about the traffic and the different roads you may take to go to a particular place.
Thinking about it, not all taxi drivers are bad evil people waiting to kidnap you or take your money. There are still a lot who are honest and good and who simply want to make a living to support their loved ones. I have seen a lot of news about taxi drivers returning large amounts of money or important items like signature shoes and jewelry to the owners. However, the problem is you can’t easily determine which is which.