Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taxicabs and their unrighteous dominion

I just Skyped with my best friend and youngest sister in Senegal. She is based there with the UN for an assignment longterm.

We just chuckled while sharing experiences with taxi drivers. In her case, as a non-Senegalese, living there, she gets charged the "tourist" price whenever she needs to get to the airport for one of her frequent UN-related trips. She immediately explains in her perfect French that she does not wish to pay that exhorbitant price. Then the negotiation begins - ahhh - Madame, that was not the price, let's negotiate - she then argues that they should not have tried to charge her so much in the first place - and so it goes.

In my case, when I have occasion to take the subway from the city to Woodlawn in the Bronx, I am met by a barrage of "taxi, taxi, miss, casino, casino, only $2." I am not a casino goer and my fare to Hartsdale is about $50 from that particular location. I don't feel the need to share this information with them, but they always want to know where I am going. I am approached each time by every taxi driver at the stand as to my destination - talk about feeling harrassed.

Why do I share this experience? We both experience harrassment/unrighteous dominion and annoying behavior on the part of the taxi cab drivers. On two continents, worlds apart, two strong and independent women experience regular harrassment. What is wrong with this picture?

I am going to write a letter to the Mayor of NYC and complain about the taxi drivers this week - I have had it - I suspect my sister has had it too!

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