Monday, April 10, 2006

Taxi Hassles

It's bad enough to ride in a minivan in Cambodia with a cracked windshield, no air conditioning and blaring Cambodian music. But when this minivan dumps it's 12 or so passengers off at the side of the road only 1 hour from its final destination only to be told we're supposed to pile into a car for the remainder of the journey, I am not a happy camper.
Being in the front seat of the minivan, I got the front bucket seat of the car. But my friend who I was sharing the bench with in the minivan had the pleasure of straddling mine seat and the driver's seat with the gear shift in his crotch. (Lovely picture, I know.) The remaining ten or so people literally were piled on top of each other in the back seat with a couple in the hatch area with the hatch open and the luggage hanging from it.
Thankfully it was only an hour. Though upon arrival it took nearly half and hour just to get away from the driver who refused to take our lowered fare even though we were stuffed into a smaller car. There was no way I was paying full "overprice" for that experience. Arguing to no avail, I threw the money in the front seat of the car since the driver refused to accept it, and then yanked my suitcase away and stomped off.
OK, so that may not have been totally smart and I was a little fearful for the rest of the evening, but we were fine. When the next taxi driver wanted to overcharge me and overfill the car I walked away and then squabbled with the motorbike driver who drove me 5 minutes to the bus station and wanted double than the taxi driver did who actually drove me 3 times as far. So tiring. Such cheating, greedy bastards!


  1. wow! sounds hairy! All I have left of cambodia is pretty drawings of monks and mangosteens. I was just reading Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia, his essays about filming the Killing Fields (which i have yet to see). Its pretty funny.

    Are you talking about the famous agro drivers of PP? Or are these scary dudes SRers?

  2. These were the taxi/minivan drivers from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. It's their regular livelihood and they seem to get great pleasure out of ripping off passengers to make a few extra bucks.