Friday, August 31, 2012

Gurnam - Richmond (Melbourne) to Melbourne Airport, 49 dollars

"So how does it feel to live in the best city of the world, Melbourne? " Melbourne was recently announced to be the best city in the world to live in according to the Economist.

"It feels great! It is much better than Sydney. "
"Really, why?" I love Sydney and consider Melbourne a beautiful city but quite European and not as exotic and the climate is much colder.
"Sydney is so crowded. So much traffic everywhere. And it is so expensive. "
Fair enough. Melbourne is much less crowded, and cheaper.

"I love Melbourne. And Australia. You know, I am from India but even though I am from India I do not want to live in India."
"Why not?"
"The corruption. India has too much corruption. Everywhere. You cannot do anything. You want to start a business, you need money to pay everybody. Everybody fill their own pockets first and then they do their job. Here in Australia, anybody can start a business. It is just to do it. In India, the british started the corruption when they came. They took all the riches of India and started corruption. A lot of politicians have tried to stop it during the years but nothing happens. "

"Look at the rich people in India. They get away from taxes. They hide and pay around 1 percent of their income in tax. 1 percent! That is nothing. They should pay maybe 20 to 30 percent! Look at Australia. Everybody pays taxes but look. We have roads, schools everything works. Everything. The tax money is actually used in a good way here. "

"That is right, it works pretty well here doesn't it. "

Melbourne airport. We are here, Jetstar, here we come!

"Thanks for the ride Gurnam, see ya! "

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Imran - Sydney airport to Manly, 96 dollars

"Do you know what happened to me yesterday?"

"No, tell me." I said. We were somewhere between the airport and the harbour tunnel. This was my first time pre booking a taxi. What a relief to skip the long taxi line after a long flight and walk straight to a car that was waiting for me.

"I had two women and two men in the car, they just came from a party. I don´t think the men and the women  knew each other that well. The women had probably met the men at the party. So they were sharing a cab. The men and the women were arguing about where to go. The men wanted the women to come with them, but the women wanted to go home. The men said they were paying for the taxi. So I started to drive in the direction of the men´s destination. The women started objecting and arguing against the route, and I asked them all, ´where should I go, I do not know who to listen to!´. The men said to go with them since they paid the taxi. I finally stopped the car and asked them all to agree before I moved. The men finally convinced the women to go with them to have a coffee and then they would pay a taxi for them to go home. When we arrived to the destination the women had changed their mind. They did not want to go out of the taxi. They started arguing again and the men suddenly opened the doors, got out of  the taxi and ran away!

"No, they didn´t!".

"Yes! And that was a 80 dollars taxi ride! Now we were far away from where the women wanted to go and they said they were not going to pay for the ride since they did not want to go their from the start. So I said if we could not agree I would take them to the police. So we went to the police station and talked to the police. But now they told a lie! The women said that the men forced them into the taxi and that they never wanted to go with the men in the first place! One police officer believed them and one police officer believed me. I was disappointed with the women. I said, you know, everything in life is not all about money. You lie and get away with it, maybe you save some money - but there is something that is called karma. Everything bad and good you do will eventually come back to you. "

"Ouch, what a night you had, what happened in the end?"

"We all agreed on to share the costs. I drove the women to their destination and they paid half of the money and I paid half of the money. So I only got 60 dollars for a ride that I was supposed to get 120 dollars for. And I also spent 2 hours in a police station. You see these crazy things happen to me?"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sam - Nedlands to Perth Airport, 56 dollars

Sam is a young taxi driver. He has got large sun glasses and longer black hair. Very aware of his style. When he picked me up he was so happy to get a long ride all the way to the airport. He said it was his lucky day. Now we have been driving for ten minutes and are now driving along a river.

"What do you mean that you do not know if this river is the same river as the one in the CBD? You are a taxi driver and must know the city inside out? "
I am smiling at Sam and he sighs.
"I don't know! I cannot focus on the stuff around me."
Sam is laughing
"I got so much stuff going on in my life. Life is shit"
"No come on, life is wonderful! What is bothering you?"
"Well, first of all I am in love with this girl. But she is getting married to another guy. But she does not want to marry him. "
"Wow. That is though. Why does she not want to marry him? Did her parents choose him? "
"Yes. And they are engaged. And everybody is expecting this to happen you know. "
"Do you still see her?"
"Yes I do." Big sigh. "If she was going to break up with this guy it will cause a lot of pain. Family, relatives, friends. Everybody is expecting this. And if she breaks up because of me I must marry her instead. "
"And are you prepared to marry her? "
"I am not ready yet. I am studying, I cannot support her now. "
"But does she not have a job? "
"Yes, she has got a good job"
"And she likes it?"
" Yes, she likes it."
"Hey Sam, take it easy. Just be patient, everything will be alright in the end. If you do not know what to do, just relax."
"Well, yeah, I dont know what to do... "

We continue talking about other stuff in his life that is "shit". But even though everything is bad Sam laughs a lot and is very easy going. I am sure that he will be fine. He also tells me that he used to live in Melbourne for a few years so I ask him about the differences between Melbourne and Perth

"Perth is much better! People in Melbourne are so rude. People in Perth are so nice. The weather in Melbourne sucks! The weather in Perth is great, everyday sun. Fantastic. "

We arrive at the airport and Sam drives away, happy with the longest drive of the day.