I have taken the taxi cab so many times that it almost feels like home to me. Whenever I need some time to gather my thoughts or to prepare for one intense meeting, I take a cab to clear my head. I also like taking the cab when I’m off to meet a client or a prospect (for Marketing, PR and Events Coordination). Of course my cab rides got less frequent when the cab fare hiked a little…but the hike made me cherish my cab rides more.
Yesterday, I rode the cab to somewhere far from downtown and the driver was talking about recent horror cab chronicles. No, he didn’t talk about the white ladies in diversion road or some child ghost by the bridge. He talked about fetching drunk passengers who are eager to punch him if he says something wrong, about hold up cases, and about drivers who were forced to hit a tree or a post just to get out of the car because they think their passenger is going to rob them and kill them.
One case was really scary because he just had a suspicion about his passenger. The latter never really declared hold up or something. Due to his suspicion, he wore his seat belt and just banged the car on a post. He ended up unscathed, but his passenger was bleeding. When the police came, he prayed that they will find something that can be a worthwhile evidence for him to prove that it was a hold up. That, or he’s losing his job and will be financially liable for the damages. Indeed, they found a gun and some barbed wire. Maybe the barbed wire was meant to suffocate him to death, the police assumed.
Then there are rape-slay cases, hold ups BY taxi drivers and some stories of harassment and reckless driving.
Then it hit me. After almost a decade of taking the cab during the wee hours of the morning, getting in and out of it drunk (in college!) and sometimes falling asleep in it, I need to be more cautious about my cab rides. Before, I used to shrug warnings off and say, “This is Davao!”, noting that the safety here is flawless. After I heard some horror stories of f a driver’s mouth, some of my perceptions (finally) changed.
Right then and there, I decided that I’d take extra precaution everytime I ride taxi cabs. Whenever I ride one during the wee hours of the night, I’d text someone the plate number of the taxi and its brand. If I get close enough to the driver’s ID to read his name, I’d include that in the text too. I also pick the branded cabs (Holiday, Maligaya, Blue, STC, etc.) most of the time. Drivers in these cabs are nicer, by the way. On my end, I also try to be extra nice because I’m kinda at the mercy of the driver. If I feel like there’s something wrong or iffy about the driver, I ask to be dropped off in a well lit area. Also, I dictate the route whenever there are many ways to get to my destination. It helps to be extra-sensitive in this time of not-so-safe-anymore.
Do you have a taxi related horror story? Tell me about it!