Monday, July 18, 2011

One of the best Cab Drivers.

The talk on Burndog's is centered around Cabbies right now. Of course, I had to chime in about having wanted to smack some Korean cabbies around. Mr. Spock replied and got me thinking about cab experiences. I don't want to hijack Burndog's thread so I figured I would post this here, with a link to his post that started the thinking process.

Mr. Spock (oh and this is a different Spock, not my buddy/co-worker from Korea) got me thinking about cab experiences. It brought to mind one of the best cabbies I have had hands down anywhere in the world I have been.

It was the day before Buddha's birthday in my 2nd year and I wanted to go to one of the temples and see the floats they have for the parade in Cheongju. I was actually supposed to meet "my" Spock there. I hopped in a cab and gave him the name of the temple. The driver was pleasant but had no English. In my bad Korean we talked a little and he drove off.

It turns out that there are TWO temples with the same name. One by the "river: and one on the mountain. I had no idea about that, or which one I wanted. The taxi driver managed to get me to understand the problem. I wasn't able to get a hold of Spock to find out which temple.

The driver started asking some of the taxis on the road around us which temple had the floats. He wasn't getting anywhere so he pulled over. Then he shut off the meter and got on his phone. It took him about 5 minutes or so to find out which temple was the right one. He flipped the meter back on and drove me to the temple by the river.

Talk about great customer service. It only cost 5000 won to get there, not counting the time the meter was off. I thanked him and made sure to give him a healthy tip. You don't encounter people, let alone cabbies, that willing to do what he did. And most cabbies would never have shut off the meter. One of the best cabbies ever.


  1. The only cab story I can think of right now is the one about the cabbie who took off his white glove to feel my beard. The vibe was friendly, and we all had a good laugh at his "Waaah!"
    Most of the cabbies I've had have been okay. Some pretend not to understand your Korean, and some try to talk to you in English, with the usual mixed results. At the time, I wished I knew more Korean sometimes, and then I would go home and not study.
    I remember one cab that I thought of as a "love cab" (like a love motel).
    It had plush leather over every surface, including the ceiling. The lights were very low and moody. There was a musky sort of perfume in the air. I wondered, as the cabbie took me to Chungdae, what... substances... I might be sitting on.

  2. heh ... ah the porn cab. There was another nice and accommodating driver.

  3. I love cab drivers when I'm in a cab, and hate them when I am not in one. I haven't had too many bad cabbies. The worst thing that has happened to me a few times is that they just don't turn the meter on. I've never really been gouged by anyone who didn't turn the meter on, they have just charged me a few hundred won over what it normally would be. I've found that most of the time cabbies are the ones who actually talk to you in Korean rather than trying English.

  4. I hated the way Korean taxis would pick other people up while they were driving me.

  5. 3gyubsal:

    I had the same experience with the ones who didn't turn the meter on. They never really tried to gouge me. Strangely enough it was a few of the ones who did use their meter who would try and add on 5-10,000 won to my bill.

  6. Anonymous:

    Yeah, that used to irk me.