Well…a while ago I was waiting a cab at the Universitate. Many Bukresh people know that at Universitate sit many shark cabs, naming the Independent Taxi Driver (IDT). As I was waiting for a regular, company cab, a Cobalcescu or Confort or Cristaxi or any other reliable company, I’ve noticed a few foreigners, all men, probably 5 people, three middle aged and a couple of them younger. They were obviously very cautious in picking up a cab, looking around carefully; it was evident that someone told them in advance about the possibilities of being ripped off in Romania.
We all waited for about 1o minutes, then the guys above lost their patience and decided for a taxi driver that appeared more reliable to them -I don’t really know their criteria. It was the most expensive one in the whole parking lot. I have decided on the spot to help them, but doing good deeds to strangers is always unexpected. It was a sunny day; I was in a good mood, relaxed. So I approached them and said, in a kind of a British manner: ‘Excuse me, sir, I am a local and I would like to offer you a free advice’. Suddenly the younger guy turned to the others, rushed them in the cab and turned to me bluntly: ‘No, no, thank you’.
Well…I am sure many foreigners have heard lots of horror stories about my beautiful country, including the fact that young, cheap hookers fall off the trees and approach rich old guys in broad light of the day to offer them on the spot, right there a blow…up for only 1 penny. I do understand that, but it is so clear that stereotypes work both ways and are totally un-healthy…I would rather stop asking anyone how is there and there and figure it out myself, unless I miss some good stuff. Like paying lots of money for a short drive around, a good opportunity for the ITD to take you from Universitate to Romana making a round to Rahova and Colentina….but, hey, some people really deserve their lessons!
I almost felt sorry that I didn’t go to the ITD to ask him to rip them off on my account too…only to keep the reputation, so they will have something to tell about when they go back to their own countries.
(photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanjunell/382523918)