Taxi Drivers' Reputation in Dubai... Good and Bad

The way taxi drivers in Dubai introduced themselves to me was generally unpleasant. Well, majority of them. SEX MANIACS On my first month, I sat on the front passenger seat. This frolic taxi driver, from the beginning of the trip talks about "What is peni* in Philipinni?", "What is puss*?" and nothing but sex and trash. And then he's trying to teach me what it's called in Pakistan. I'm a bit aloof, but jolly that I may, and for the sake of maintaining a friendly conversation (because I'm inside his cab), I talked, answered his every question.  When I'm about to go, as I was handing him my bill, he grabbed my arm and wanted me to touch his effin' b*lls. I pulled back and to my shock, I punched him on the chest. I shouldn't have left my cash but I was so shocked and ran inside home quick. I thought of reporting to the police - but since I'm new in the city, feared this kind of things - that I may be the one to get the raw end of it. That disgusting incident has earned the Dubai taxi drivers a too bad reputation from me. After that, I never rode a cab seating beside the driver. I always sit at the back. One time, I'm opening the back door but the taxi insist that I sit in front. No way! I also avoid conversations with them. Other taxi drivers are plainly too noisy and trash talkers too. They thought every Asian loves to talk about sex. Even if I ignore their non-sense blurbs, they don't stop. There are other drivers who will enumerate all the trash Tagalog words they learned: "P*tangina", "Gag*", "Baya*", "GLORIA ARROYO" name it they know it.

Majority of them drives like they want to take you to hell, not just because they're too fast, but they're rude. They don't know customer service. In taxis here, the customer is not always right. Some of them shout at you.  AND, everywhere you may want to go, they will always complain 'traffic.' If you're going in a short distance, they'll drive the cab against their heart, and you'll hear them talking to themselves loud in their language.  They prefer not too cold temperature. Sometimes when you ask to turn the A/C cooler, they're pissed. Oh man! They get pissed off at little things... Hot tempered.

Most, if not all of them work 7 days a week, up to 12 - 16 hours a day, or even more than that - until they reach their daily quota of 200 - 250 Dirhams. And their living conditions in the labour camp is horrendous.

I feel for that. If we put ourselves on their shoes you just can't bear the conditions for sure. I truly understand. What I don't understand is why their employers put them in such "uncharacteristic" conditions. But anyway, these should not be reasons for them to be rude to their passengers.  Customer service / relations is lacking.  

But of course, there are a few really good taxi drivers. Silent all throughout the trip would be best. There are also wholesome jolly ones. Once, an old man cheerfully sings "Pinoy Ako" by Orange and Lemons. He knows. Another one recites all the presidents of the Philippines. Others talk using "Saan ka papunta?" and directions "kaliwa, kanan, diretso, hinto." Another one, knows Wowowie by heart. There are funny and gentle drivers as well. Some would really care to help you load and unload your groceries in compartment. There are those who start intelligent conversations too. Some talk about world politics, and our own Gloria and Marcos government. But sadly, only A FEW of them.

The best experience so far for us is riding on this old man's cab. He's the silent type. My wife left her bag in the cab with the mobile and other important cards in it.  We tried calling her mobile several times to get the attention of the driver. No answers in the first half-an-hour. Then he called us back using my wife's mobile saying that he noticed it late and asking how he can return it. I asked where is he that time and we'll go to meet him. Instead, he offered to pass to where he dropped us off to return the bag. After an hour, he came back and handed the back and phone and everything. His name is Salahuddin - I won't forget because he's rare. I do hope we'll have more of him. These are just my stories. I've been hearing more of the worse stories from others. One is, you might end up in a desert with the cab driver and you know what happened.

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