Wednesday, September 3, 2008

stinking cab rides!!!

Bad cab experience #1:

Tuesday morning I caught a cab to the discovery center of Taipei to meet some friends. Nathan had coached me on the address, and the driver even spoke a little bit of english. But he didn't seem to know where it was, so he took the notebook where I had the address written: "DISCOVERY CENTER OF TAIPEI: #1 Shur Fu Rd. (West gate, City Hall 1-4F)" He was still confused and kept saying "Shur Fu Road, Shur Fu Road?" like he was trying to recall it from memory. So he went into my apartment to ask the front desk girl, who came out and asked me where I was going. I told her and she also drew a blank. So I said "The address says west gate, city hall. Isn't city hall over near the Taipei 101 area?" I guess the only thing they heard was 'Taipei 101' because they started talking excitedly in chinese, and the driver got in and took me to.....Taipei 101. I said "I'm not going to Taipei 101. I need Shur Fu Road. Is this Shur Fu Road?" He was so confused, and kept repeating 'Shur Fu Road. Shur Fu Road." like he had never heard it before. I had decided to get out and get a different cab, but he said "Please, just wait minute." He pulled out a cell phone and had me talk to a lady who asked me if I was going to the world trade tower. I said no, I'm going to #1 Shur Fu Road. She asked if I was going somewhere near Taipei 101. Then she asked me which section I was going to (what's a section, anyways?) I said "I am from America. I don't know my way around Taipai. I have an address. I am going to #1 Shur Fu Road. I don't know where it is, all I have is the address." She said "Okay, I will tell the driver to take you to #1 Shur Fu Road." Great. So the driver got back on the phone, and listens for a minute, and then I saw a big light bulb pop up over his head. "OOOHHHH! Shur Fu Road!!!!! OOOOHHH, yes, yes, Shur Fu Road!!!" I need to point out that there was NOTHING in the tone or the way he said it that was ANY different than the way he had said it before, OR the way that I had said it!!! So he finally took me to Shur Fu road before I strangled him. It cost me 210 NT to get there, and only 90 NT to get home. Maybe he did it on purpose???

Bad Cab Experience #2:

This one happened the night of bad cab experience #1. I was on my way to young womens, and this time Nate had written the address down in chinese for the driver. So I showed it to him, and he started blabbering on in Chinese, making all kinds of hand gestures. I later figured out that he was telling me that he doesn't go that far, and I needed to get out of his cab. But not understanding a word of it, I just sat there, thinking why is he talking, and not driving? Finally, he leaned back and opened the door. This is when I realized he was kicking me out.

Bad Cab Experience #3: GRAND PRIZE WINNER

So last night we had the first grade open house at Evan's school. It started at 7pm, so I got a cab and went to pick up the babysitter, who lives not too far from our house, but her parents don't let her take public transportation alone. I was elated that my cab driver spoke pretty good english, and we talked the whole way there. I told him we were were going to pick up my babysitter to take her back to Dunhua, so that my husband and I could go to TAS for an appointment with my son's teacher. He started asking me where TAS was. I said, "it's in Tianmu, but don't worry about that, you are not taking us there. You are just taking me to pick up my babysitter. And then we are taking her back to Dunhua." He said, "Yes, yes, yes," as if he understood. I was very clear on this because, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be bad if he started driving us to Tianmu? (foreshadowing) So we pick up the babysitter, no problem, and her and I are in the backseat talking. Suddenly I look up and realize with horror that we are on the freeway! I said "Wait! Where are you going?!?!?" and he said "To pick up your son at TAS." So I explained that we needed to go back to Dunhua, because this is my BABYSITTER in the car with me, and my HUSBAND is going with me to TAS. Right at that moment, we came to a dead stop in traffic on the freeway. It was 20 minutes until 7pm, and we were halfway to Tianmu. So I called Nate from the babysitter's cell phone, (I don't even have a cell phone!) and long story short, I took the babysitter with me to Evan's first grade open house.