“Taxi Whores”


I live in North Africa.  Sometimes foreigners and expats assume that only they are getting taken advantage of by taxi drivers.  It’s always reassuring when we find out that the locals get ripped-off, too.  (Misery loves company!)

My local-country citizen, North African friend, who lives in another part of our country, recently arrived in my city by train.  He asked me, “How much does it cost to get a taxi from the new train station to the main square?”

I told him he had to be careful of the taxis which park right next to the train station, as they wait there to charge rip-off fares to everyone.  I told him if he could walk about two blocks, he could find taxis at the normal fare.  Unfortunately, he had too much luggage to do that.

Being a local North African citizen in his own country, he was able to get a taxi at only double the normal fare, although the taxis do get away with charging five times the normal fare to foreigners.  Instead of driving around looking for fares, those taxis find it easier to sit in a line all day, and just make up for the lack of fares by charging only one very expensive fare!  It’s a bit like prostitutes who are unwilling to work for normal wages at a normal job, and charge a high price for a few hours of work.

My friend replied, “Taxi whores! hahaha”

So I’m afraid I can’t take credit for this clever name…..

–Lynne Diligent

N.B — There are many honest taxi drivers; it’s just sometimes hard to find them when you need them!

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7 Responses to ““Taxi Whores””

  1. the retrospective entrepreneur Says:

    Unfortunately, we have more than a few Taxi-Whores in my town here in the UK. They are all probably UK residents but come from a different (immigrant) ethnic stock and use all manner of tricks to exceed the official fare structure. Must be something to do with the profession, Lynn. Certainly couldn’t be a racial thing…:)


  2. Lynne Diligent Says:

    I think this is actually true the world over. In every city you travel to, the driver’s first question is, “Where are you from?” –Not necessarily because he cares, but mainly to find out if you are local or not! Local people know the routes, fares, and reporting mechanisms, while out-of-towners don’t. I’m sure their tricks there are about the same there as here. Of course it’s not a racial thing–it’s probably more a cultural thing, in my opinion. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!


  3. Jim Taggart Says:

    Taxi whores exist in “polite” Canada, though you’ll find them naturally in metro areas. This post reminds me of the interview I watched last night of actress Sally Fields (playing Mary Lincoln in the about to be released “Lincoln,” also starring Daniel Day Lewis).

    Fields recently moved to Manhattan from her native home of California. She talked about the horrors of Hurricane Sandy and what it was like to be on Manhattan Island during the storm. She recounted the story of taxi drivers gouging citizens by up to 400% over regular fares. At one point while in a cab with an acquaintance, Fields, she landed into the taxi driver for ripping off New Yorkers. She really gave it to him. The driver suddenly turned meek and apologetic, offering to drive them for free.

    Maybe that’s the secret: give ’em shit when taxi drivers try to pull a fast one. And that from 5 foot 2 Sally Fields!


  4. Susan Says:

    Waiting outside airports and train stations mimics a common practice found in the US and in other countries.Those taxis are regulated by law to only charge set fees into town, so newcomers don’t get ripped off. Those are designated by “airport taxi” signs. It’s the same here in Panama. I accidentally left a carry on bag in the back of the taxi when I arrived back home (Pma) and, after realizing it a half hour later, ran right back to the airport and reported it. They located the driver who brought it back. It contained a small bag of jewelry worth over $2K in it, and it was all there. I was stunned and gave the driver a generous tip. I will only use a taxi service from an in station/airport kiosk when I’m new into town.


  5. Lynne Diligent Says:

    That’s WONDERFUL, Susan. I’m a teacher, and I once left my Grade Book in a taxi, who drove back to my house and gave it to me. I was so thankful, and gave him a tip, also. (This was in North Africa.)


  6. RainDancer Says:

    I think the “Taxi Prostitution” exists everywhere! The world’s oldest profession, as they claim, has gone mechanical! 😀


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