November 25th, 2012

Ningbo taxi drivers suck.....

Trust me they really do. They beyond suck.

I returned from Shanghai last night (I was on a training session), and being a good little trouper I walked past all the guys trying to get you to use their illegal mini-cabs, and queued up for a proper taxi.

I gave him my card, pointed at the address and said "Zhenhai," to which I got a thumbs up and off we went. I got a distinct impression he hadn't got a bloody clue where Zhenhai was when he started calling people left and right as soon as we were round the corner.

This concerned me as Zhenhai isn't exactly small (250,000 people) and not exactly unknown to people (it's like an outer London borough in London). So I was somewhat shocked when we stopped after 30mins, and he told me to get out, that we'd arrived. There were 3 immediate problems with where we were (other than we weren't in Zhenhai).

First, he was trying to deposit me on an unpaved, unlit, side-walk next too a dual carriageway at 11:30pm. Why the hell would anyone ask to be deposited there?

Second, the card I gave him make it clear the address is for a school. Either side of the dual carriageway were field. I mean come on really?

Finally, I'm a white guy who's fairly smartly dressed, carrying a case, but no umbrella. What precisely do you think I would be doing there at that time? Yet there he was saying "Zhenhai.... Zhenhai" and waving his hands about madly.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that he didn't really fancy talking me to the fringes of the city.

I finished "NW" by Zadie Smith

"NW", by Zadie Smith is about a group of friends who grew up on a council estate in North West London (hence the title). The core of the book focuses on 2 friends who got out. Some of their friends moved sideways. Others slipped into heavy duty drug up.

It wasn't a bad book. It's certainly well written. For example, she caught how they talk to each other pretty well. It's just a little depressing. No one, even the girls who got out, are particularly happy. I don't expect my books to necessarily end all rosy, but part of me hoped it'd end cheerier than this 1 did.