Taxi Rip-off

Have you ever rode in a taxi before? If you have, did you consider yourself being cheated on the price you had to pay for your time and effort on riding in one? I have ridden in taxis way too many times than I can count, from my place in Pasig to UP Diliman and of course vice versa. I have never experienced anything that can be counted as one of the “evil” or “bad” deeds that taxi drivers have been notorious to commit. That was, until that one trip to Caloocan city for our audit in Barangay 12.

It was they day of our trip, we were supposed to arrive at our destination by 1pm. It was 11:30 in the afternoon. We planned on leaving 15 minutes after, since there were a few things we had to go over because we hadn’t had the chance to talk previously due to our conflicting schedules and lousy internet connection, and then there was also lunch to consider.

We talked about what mode of transportation to use, and we were all deliberating between commuting and taking a taxi since it was our first time travelling to that part of Caloocan, or for the most of us, Caloocan and the cities north themselves. There was also the much talked about “traffic armageddon,” where EDSA will be covered in heavy traffic due to the construction taking place that day. We then decided to take a taxi, and by the allotted time, we were hailing for one.

It took us quite some time before we got in a cab—it was a sorry looking thing according to myself—, but it was a few minutes past twelve, we didn’t want to take any chances. On the way, the taxi driver told us about taking a longer route due to the expected traffic, and complained about the hot weather. We were complaining about the hot weather too. It was so stuffy in the car that we asked the driver to crank the AC up, sad to say it didn’t help much. Not to mention the times when we felt like the interior itself was reeking when he made an adjustment that allowed the air from outside in.

There was that time when we were stuck in traffic, and it was twenty minutes before one. We were worried about when we’d actually get there. We decided to eat lunch by the time we arrived, and we felt that the trip might take too long and asked the driver if he knows any drive-thru’s nearby to save us some time. He said we were nearing our destination quite soon, he kept saying the same thing more than hour after.

We were hungry by the time we got off, that we asked him to take us to the Jollibee that I spotted in the distance by its sign. He instead parked off on the other side of the road saying he’s not allowed to make the turn, and he might be caught if he did so. After we got there, the payment amounted to more than 350 pesos, and we paid him 400 for his claimed troubles. When we got out, we were expecting the air to be hotter outside than the one in the cab. To our surprise, the air was cool, and there was a gentle breeze.

It was way past the time we were supposed to arrive. We were sweating bullets inside the cab that we rushed in the building for much needed good air-conditioning. We complained to one another how everything was a rip-off; bad aircon, dirty interior, the stuffy and reeking inside air, as well as broken window handles. When we left Caloocan, we commuted back to UP, and it only took us 30 minutes or so. Maybe it was the frustration, but I swear, I’ve never felt that cheated once in my life, and this by a single taxi rip-off.

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