I dread Calabar taxis , I go through this ordeal every other day (I don’t have my own car- yet;with emphasis on yet (big grin )).
For starters, today I was almost squashed in the back seat of this particular cab on my way to work, the cabbies refuse to adhere to the rules of taking just three passengers behind and one in front. This is really frustrating and of course, annoying but you might say the cabbies are trying to survive ,they are hustling etcetera etcetera or why can’t I pay for two seats ?What happens to the days when I am not buoyant enough ?
The funny thing is the penalty these cabbies pay for squeezing poor fellows like us, is far greater than the cost of two additional passengers in their cabs or taxis.
Once upon a time, I was in a cab ,we were packed up like sardines at the backseat. As usual, I had no choice, it was late and I had to get home .When it was time to get off the cab, i could not move my legs, they hurt like hell, I started crying, it was the most embarrassing moment of my life.
Another instance ,I got into this cab just by the market, we were three at the back, with a lady in front but the taxi driver refused to move. The lady at the passenger’s seat asked him what he was waiting for and he said more passengers .We,at the back were already fidgeting ,it was really hot. We urged him to go and he did not budge.
Ten minutes later, the road safety guys pulled over right in front of the taxi, before any one could say,cab, two of them had jumped into the taxi, ordering us out. What, I have not really placed about that day is, what his offence was, If it was wrong parking or not. One thing, I do know is the taxi driver will most definitely pay a fee -a fee that the fare of two more passengers was not worth. If only ,he had left when he was supposed to. Greed? Survival ? Do we the passengers stop boarding already filled cabs ,will that send a message across to these cabbies?
Apart from squeezing and squashing. These calabar cabbies are unreasonably rude! You stop a cab ,mention your destination and he just stares blankly ahead ,not even a nod and you repeat yourself, the next thing, he is yelling at you, saying you either get in or stay out. ’for your money too ? ’
Who then, are we to blame ?The taxi drivers? -for trying to survive,to get by -anyhow. The government?-for not having an orientation of sorts for these people. Or ourselves? -for not being able to afford vehicles of our own. Think about it !