Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Nicest Taxi Driver in Bangkok

I have always told people that for the quality of the vehicle (usually Toyota Corolla Altis) and level of service, Bangkok definitely has the most value-for-money taxi system in the world. That said, the drivers here are not perfect. Especially in the bustling city where millions of tourists hang out every year, drones of opportunistic taxi drivers roam around choosing customers who are willing to pay them inflated fares they don't deserve to earn.

I have had my fair share of frustrations with taxi drivers over the last few years, particularly when I try to get home from the city because I don't look Caucasian enough, but yesterday, on Labour Day 2013, my heart was completely melted by a customer-choosing cab driver whom I will now identify as Khun Longan.

My family and I were waiting for the taxi under the scorching sun outside Paradise Park amongst a pretty big crowd of people. As it was the 1st of the month (payday for most Thais) and a public holiday, getting a cab was impossible. Not even 1 empty cab was in sight. The old Thai lady standing in front of me then told me (in perfect Mandarin) that everyone standing or sitting around was waiting for cabs. At that instant, my heart sank a little.

Barely a minute later, a cab stopped at the taxi stand. 2 young thai teenagers rushed forward and attempted to get in. However, before their butts could touch the seat, they had to turn around to shout at me (I was a good 20metres away). With my poor understanding of the language, it sounded something like, "SOMETHING SOMETHING SOMETHING THE LADY WITH THE BABY!"

Noah, our lucky star, weaved his magic again. We could not believe our luck! The old lady in front of us smiled kindly at me as we bypassed her to get into the cab. Khun Longan then told us that in this situation, he will have to give priority to pregnant ladies and families with babies as he cannot imagine how long we might potentially have to wait there.

Now who says drivers who choose their customers are all nasty?

Not my most flattering pic, but the focus is on Khun Longan, the kindest cabby in town!

Bangkok is a city that never fails to surprise me every other day. It can give me the worst of frustrations today, then massage my heart with the warmest of comforts tomorrow. There is never a predictable moment.

If you are still wondering why I continue to call myself the Stranger in Bangkok after nearly 4 years, I hope you have already found the answer.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to know that you found that kind of taxi driver. Actually, I'm always distant when it comes to talking to a taxi driver in Bangkok because of my experience before. As much as possible, I don't usually talk to them freely.



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