Occasionally we have to take taxis. When it’s very late, or very far, or we’re just really tired, we call a taxi to take us wherever. This is much cheaper than in the States, which is why we don’t feel too guilty for relying on them when we have to.
Sometimes we have adventures with these guys. Let me explain. I’ve mentioned somewhere before that when you call, you can press a number for English service, which will mean that usually the person will speak some English, right? Generally the conversation (from my end; I’ve never called myself) sounds something like this:
“Wei? Hello. I want a taxi.”
“(Our location).” *pause* “(Our location x2).”
“To ___.” *repeat up to 3 times*
*pause for longer*
“(Our location.) To ____. Okay?”
*We all laugh nervously*
“Okay, thank you!”
Inevitably, it’s always a mystery whether or not we always got our point across. Every time though, we’ve had someone turn up.
Now, this above is an average day getting one. There have been times when it’s been even harder to swing it.
For instance, last time we went to McDonald’s we took a taxi. We did this the first time we went as well, and then had the management tell the taxi driver the address when we wanted to go home. Not a huge hassle. This second time, though we called a taxi to get there, when we tried to call later, it turned into a fiasco. We asked a man near us to help, and for the next twenty, I kid you not, twenty minutes, we watched him anxiously run outside, run back in, pace, talk an awful lot, conspire with another customer, ask the staff, run back outside, and finally tell us, with a very pained expression, that they couldn’t find the address. Hadn’t we gotten two taxis there and returned once before? Huh.
It was embarrassing, to say the least.
I tell you what though, we won’t stop calling taxis, and we won’t stop going to McD’s. We’ll just have to learn Chinese, I suppose.