For the heck of it

Friday, June 08, 2007

And the Award for the Most Courteous Taxi Driver Goes to...

Teddy!! Teddy?? Teddy, who??? Well, the guy below.

Why? Because, I am from India, and now live in Dubai. As you might have read from my previous entries, I am in Taipei to cover Computex 2007. I haven't seen a taxi driver anywhere as yet - in India, Dubai or Taipei - go over and above his duty to help his customers! I wanted to get to Computer Street in Taipei, and so hailed a taxi from Grand Hyatt hotel, right next to Taipei 101. As soon as I got in, Teddy (he called himself that, but I don't know his Chinese name) greeted me with a Ni Hao, and a "good afternoon". Throughout the journey, he was like this chatterbox that went on chattering and chattering, without boring me.

He was funny and was quite helpful - by the way he spoke really good English for a Taiwnese (and a taxi driver). He told me that he used to work with a furniture export firm in Taiwan earlier. But since his father got sick, he had to quit his job to take care of his father. But then he had to support his family, too. So he started driving a taxi. He says that by driving a taxi he earns money enough to keep his family going, and it's also a job with flexible timings. So he doesn't have to think twice, if somebody from his family needs him for a moment.

Since it was raining, he didn't think even twice before handing me his umbrella. He said, "You are here to shop, not catch cold and fall sick." I asked him how would I return his umbrella. He said, "That's OK. It's an umbrella, a passenger left behind."And then quickly added, "Oh, I was just kidding." I gave him my hotel's card and asked him to collect it from the reception. He nodded. I then, took his phone number and told him that I would need a ride back to the hotel to drop off the stuff I would be shopping for. He promptly gave me his number.

After shopping, I called him on his cell and he arrived to pick me up within no time! In Taipei, if you book a taxi, you need to pay extra. Teddy didn't even speak about the money. He just drove me back to the hotel and as usual the journey was a plesant one, with Teddy chattering away. If you look at the picture closely, you would see that he is chewing on something similar to beetle leaves. Here's a cloese-up shot.

Teddy says that most taxi drivers chew on these leaves to stay awake, so that they don't doze off at the wheels. Most taxi drivers are hardworking and do extra shifts for that extra piece of revenue. He also adds that these leaves are good for keeping the blood-pressure under control.

I will be leaving on 10th for Dubai. I have already asked Teddy to pick me up from my hotel and drop me off at the airport. I had a really great experience, travelling with Teddy. I would certainly recommend Teddy to anyone travelling in Taipei. If you are in Taipei or are travelling to Taipei and are looking for a taxi driver, Teddy would be your man. You can contact him at: 0970157639. And yes, if you do meet him, wish him on my behalf.


  • Booking taxis in Taiwan is than hailing one at night.. and if you have a VIP card it's also cheaper during the day. But yes, there's quite a few very helpful taxi drivers :) Welcome to Taipei~!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/08/2007 10:02 PM  

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