Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The local Taxi scam art

Out the airport with not much issue and got my backpack in one piece. I had no Nepalese Rupee with me but it should be fine I thought. I have read in the internet that one should get the airport taxi from inside the airport for it’s a fixed rate. A higher fixed rate of course but unless one really are able to bargain hard with the locals and speak a few local words I doubt a fresh greeny like me first time in Nepal could get anywhere bargaining.

I have no money I told the counter …. Could the taxi stop by an atm along the way? Yea sure no problem … which hostel ??? Fireflies hostel and I show them the address of the hostel plus the phone number. 750 they said and pointed to the big board behind them showing the area zone called Pakonjol which the hostel address was located and its price. Fair enough I thought and I confirmed that the taxi driver will stop by an atm for me to get money.

Out the airport and I was passed from one taxi handler to another taxi handler. I had a bad feeling about this ….. but played the stupid card. Got into the taxi and off we go towards the central Kathmandu.

The taxi driver could speak a little English and asked me where I was from. Malaysia I told him.

Ah Malaysia …. Many Nepalese go to Malaysia to work and then die!

I was thinking … what ???? Mmmm was all I said and kept my mouth shut the entire way.

He got us all the way to Pakonjol area and I could see the address below some of the shops signboard hence I knew we were at the right place but yet he could not find the hostel. Phone number he asked and I provided my phone to him so he could copy down the number. It was abundantly clear that he had no idea he was supposed to be bring me to the ATM before going to the hostel.
Looking for a Hostel in Pakonjol area - Nepal

ATM I asked …. And he said it was very far. If you have seen enough touts around the world and faced enough taxi drivers with their fake facial expression you will know this one that is a set up to try and get more money. I still played stupid … the nice tourist, and told him … no ATM = No money.

With dramatic displeasure the taxi driver drove me to the nearest ATM making a big circle when the ATM was just next door. He thought I was stupid tourist and I pretended to be one looking out the window with big wide eyes. Got money and hopped back to the Taxi and the hunt for the fireflies hostel started.

Your hostel not there … missing …. I bring you to better hotel.

I have booked and paid I lied to him. Call them I said.

He called and pretended to always get lost but we were circling the same two streets over and over. Finally he parked and told me someone was coming. The hostel guy came and jumped into the taxi only to bring him down 100 meters before stopping a narrow footpath. No signboard but that was a walking footpath to get to the hostel.

I pulled out a 1000 ruppee and passed it to the driver. His face of absolute delight when he saw it and with a big smile he gave me the hand signal which mean “you don’t need change rite, thanks for the tips”.

Stupid tourist now left the Taxi …. Bastard backpacker took over. I got my money and I now know exactly where the hostel was and where I was in Kathmandu. No I told him and asked him for change. The drama started and he tried to explained to the hostel worker that he took me round and round trying to find the place and even took me to the ATM which was not apart of it. Poor hostel guy was our translator. He can fuck off if he dun have change I told the hostel guy.

Its not my fault that the other guys did not explain my conditions accurately to him and its his fucking job to know where the hostel is. He parked his car and came down with his treats and angry looks. For a small guy like me, I was surprise I gave him a piece of my mind. Somewhere along the argument he brought up Nepal in need, since the earthquake and such. That set me more in stone to not give him a dime more than the 750 he deserve.

Hostel guy finally took my 1000 and change it at a shop nearby and paid him his 750. I got my change and we walked towards the hostel.

There is nothing worse than a person thinking that help is deserved. Help is a blessing but when people think it’s an obligation, a requirement, an act of must to fulfil the guilt, he is worse than a lazy man, a parasite that must be killed faster than the capitalism virus.

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