Sunday, 5 April 2009

More Things that Get You Yelled at in Cologne

Lordy, Herr Professor Douchemann threw down some good stuff! To build on his taxi-culture riff, let me add this to the long, long list of Things That Get You Yelled at in Cologne: requesting a ride to a destination that the taxi driver deems too nearby to be worthy of his valuable time.

I've only heard of this occurring with women--to me (multiple times) and to a co-worker (on her mf-ing WEDDING DAY, when she wanted to be driven to the church so as not to, you know, get her big white dress and veil dirty, but noooo...the taxi driver told her she should bloody well walk the half-kilometer and not bother honest working men like himself with such trifles!). This gender asymmetry may be coincidence. At any rate, it came as rather a shock to me, having lived in several cities around the world, where taxi drivers have to wait in long queues to get a passenger, just as they do here. I understand that they would like to get nice, big fares for airport rides. But as a passenger, if you need a ride for a shorter distance, it's really none of the taxi driver's business to express his or her deep personal disappointment with you about it. For all the driver knows, you might have MS or some other disability that isn't immediately obvious, but makes walking difficult--this actually happened to me when I took cab ride with my mom, who had just gotten off crutches for a broken ankle and could barely walk a block. The taxi driver yelled at us for inconveniencing him with a short ride, and I had to explain that even his trained medical eye could not detect it, my mother was temporarily handicapped. I really resented having to justify our hiring him: my mom's condition was none of his business. And we were paying him for the trip, regardless of his opinion of us.

So that goes on the TTGYYAIC list after sitting in the back seats of taxis and crossing empty streets when the pedestrian light is red. What else should go on the list?