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Everybody do the taxi cab shuffle!
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: Everybody do the taxi cab shuffle! Reply with quote

I'm pretty new to Seoul so perhaps this is familiar to alot of you.

Last night I was out to meet some old students that were in town on business. We had a few beers and some Anju and decided to wrap things up shortly before midnight.

Now I'm standing on a busy street in Seocho-dong. It's ten to twelve and I need a cab. I look around and there are at least a dozen of them within site. Unfortunately they all drive by paying no heed to me (and not b/c I'm a foreigner......my Korean friend was trying to flag them down for me). THey had their lights on like they were availalbe but would drive by me.......slow down, do a U turn, drive up the other street, park for a little while.......and generally ignore anyone that needed a cab. THen all of a sudden the clock strikes 12 and there is a big line up of cabs ready to pick me up.

Now I understand that the rate goes up at 12 but isn't this a little ridiculous? I bet in the 10 minutes they spend doing the taxi cab shuffle they could make more money than what they get out of the rise in fares after 12.

I love that the cabs are cheap here but there seems to be some ettiquette missing.
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ERROR! DOES NOT COMPUTE!

The meters automatically begin charging the higher rate at midnight even if the meter is already running.
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure--but if it's 11:50 and he gets home before 12 it makes sense because they won't earn the higher rate. And does it retroactively change the fare of time already spent in the taxi, or just start changing the rate from 12 on?

I've noticed that taxis with their lights on won't pick me up at certain times, presumably because of shift changes/end of shift. These taxis don't just circle around though.
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posco's trumpet



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Location: Beneath the Underdog

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Last edited by posco's trumpet on Sat Dec 06, 2003 7:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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richinkorea



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Gawd Darn Hot and Sunny Arizona !

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

posco's trumpet wrote:
The basic fare is more expensive after midnight, so even though the meter automatically starts ringing in the higher travel cost, it doesn't cover the difference in the basic fare.

That being said, the difference is about 1000 won a week. In other words, Seoul taxi drivers are *beep* greedy ********, 24/7. "We don't pick up fares in the fifteen minutes before midnight because we have never picked up fares in the fifteen minutes before midnight. Yes, we know it doesn't make economic sense, but we have never picked up fares in the fifteen minutes before midnight, so we can't start now. If you don't like it, go home, you ******** foreign scumbag."


Nice....

Sure they aren't all just taking a break at this time, you know chatting with the buds, enjoying their tobacco ?

Sounds like a good time to take a break to me.
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hellofaniceguy



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: On your computer screen!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do what I do; open the *@&#&%@ taxi door and get in! Tell him to turn the meter on and give him your destination. I see koreans standing on the street when a taxi drives up to them and the korean asks "can you take me to so and so place" and the taxi drives says no and drives off! Man, koreans are wired wrong. Just get in the taxi! That's the taxi drivers job! You're the customer! MONEY! I have been in a few taxis's with my korean friend when my friend has given the taxi driver hell because the driver is an idiot! My friend tells the dirver that we are the customer and are paying you for your services so shut up and drive! The drivers don't like it when customers stand up to them! But, customer service is not going to improve as long as we condone it.
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

right...this is all fair and true...but...

keep in mind that korean taxi drivers earn ****-all. all public transportation in this country is way, way, way underpriced. period.

yeah, it sucks to be the guy who gets ripped out of a buck or two (hee-haw, hee-haw)...but really, if you're worried/pissed about a couple of (pennies/dimes/bucks/whatever) you've got bigger issues than simply being frustrated with duplicitous cabbies who are trying to hustle a little extra dough (to eat and put their kids through school---yes, even they have kids).
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hellofaniceguy



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: On your computer screen!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, taxi drivers earn small money; however, no one forces them to drive a taxi! Taxi drivers don't have the brains God gave goldfish. Period. The same in Canada or the U.S. or elsewhere. They have a bad rep. Taxi drivers tell me, "we are in a hurry so we must drive fast." Yeah, like taxi drivers in the U.S., Canada, Europe are also not in a hurry?!?! But they drive obeying traffic laws! Koreans don't. If these idiot taxi drivers would follow the rules of the road, they would make more money! The meter goes by the distance or the time. Drive slowly and it adds up. In the end, it all balances out. But try getting a korean taxi driver to use common sense and logic in thinking! Or a bus driver! Talk about being wired wrong! Korean bus and taxi drivers win. The problem is that many tourists come to korean thinking it's an advanced nation, and that it's like Japan, or Singapore or many other of the other advanced nations. And when they come to korea, they are disappointed. Sure, koreans have made many advances in technology but not where it really is important. And that is in having or using common sense, people skills, manners, etc.
But koreans already know this and they don't like to hear about their shortcomings.
You are hard pressed to find the behavior, business practices, bad drivers, spitting, pushing, shoving, contract violations, corruption, two faced attitudes in other advanced countries as much as one does in korea. When tourists go to let's say, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, some African countries, and a few elsewhere, people expect lack of common courtesy, bad business practices, etc. Koreans bill themselves as the best at this or that, etc. and it's all a show. Bad mouthing korea am I? Nope! Koreans do a good job of that themselves. They have made many positive changes and are making many more. Hopefully it will continue and make korea better for all.
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...no one forces them to drive a taxi...


well, not by physical force, anyway...but...i have met quite a few taxi drivers in korea who were only "moonlighting" as taxi drivers because they had recently been laid off from there jobs, or they were old and couldn't get any other job to support themselves and their families, or they were graduates who still had yet to find jobs . i've met a lot of retired soldiers who spoke excellent english (someone "without brains" wouldn't be able to learn a foreign tongue, correct?). in other words, korea's sh*tty economy has indeed "forced" many of them into this less-than-glamorous profession.

Quote:
...but they drive according to traffic laws...


i call B.S. on this one. BIG-TIME. you obviously have never visited New York, Paris, Los Angeles, et al...
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell! Taxi drivers in Korea do not have to answer to the law! They don't have to take sobriety tests or obey any traffic laws! They are notorious for thinking they can harass women late at night and they pick 'n choose who they want to pick up.
When I'm drunk and stuck in Shinchon I usually whip out a 10,000 note and stick it in front of their windshield. That gets him home quick!. Sorry if I'm exacerbating the problems by overpaying for my ride, but who am I, a foreigner, to think I can change the behaviour of Korean taxi drivers in Korea?
Isn't it the responsibility of the Korean law enforcement to enforce the law? And, isn't it the responsibility of the Korean people to complain about laws that are not enforced? What chance do I have a changing the behaviour of Korea taxi drivers? Starting an argument with a Korean taxi driver is a good way to start a silly incident that leads to an anti-whatever campaign. Just go with the flow and let the Koreans sort it out.

It is a bit different for foreign females. They have to be aware that it's a bad idea for any female to take a taxi alone at night in Korea. That is our responsibilty, to inform our female colleagues about the dangers for females in Korea.

Back around 1994-95 a US Army female soldier was killed in the south of Korea. (I forget the exact location). She went missing, and then her burnt remains were found a month or so later in the countryside. Witnesses said she left a bar and took a taxi home just prior to her disappearance and that there was a man in the front passenger seat when she got into the taxi. Suspiciously, a Korean bar hostess had been murdered in Itaewon only a month or so before her disapperance.
There was never any proof that these two incidents were related, but if you were to ask your Korean friends about the likelihood of the crimes being related I think you would be quite surprised at their response.

This is not the only set of crimes that has involved a suspicious relationship in South Korea. There have been many, as a matter of fact, one occurred near Hae Bang Chun this year.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Macktheknife:

I'm actually not a cheap miser like you seem to imply. It just irks me when there are cabs within spitting distance that refuse to pick me up. I have money, I'm willing to pay, I don't really give a hoot about paying 5000won vs. 7000won. My point is that the cab drivers do not make any extra money by sitting around doing nothing for 10 or 15 minutes, just to pick someone up after midnight. THe money they would earn in that time more than compensates for the difference in the rates.

It's just stupidity as far as I can tell.....
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mack the knife wrote:
Quote:
...no one forces them to drive a taxi...


well, not by physical force, anyway...but...i have met quite a few taxi drivers in korea who were only "moonlighting" as taxi drivers because they had recently been laid off from there jobs, or they were old and couldn't get any other job to support themselves and their families, or they were graduates who still had yet to find jobs . i've met a lot of retired soldiers who spoke excellent english (someone "without brains" wouldn't be able to learn a foreign tongue, correct?). in other words, korea's sh*tty economy has indeed "forced" many of them into this less-than-glamorous profession.


Oh those poor babies, and you mean to say they are all alone and there is no one to help them at all? Men should never experience such things.

My God, I never heard of such a terrible plight? Tha changes everything. From now on I am going to pay double the fare.
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Cedar



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Location: In front of my computer, again.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't like the whole "we must insist on better service" thing. I mean, in Korea, by and large, including taxi drivers, we get better service than we do back home in any industry except where people are being TIPPED. So, of course that means that comparing a taxi driver in Korea to one in America might make the Korean not look so good, but the Korean's nose isn't brown. If he's nice to you, it's cause he's a nice person, not cause he needs the extra you might slip him. Sure a waitress might be really nice in America, but she lives off those tips, not a salary. In Korea some arbeit earning 2,500 won an hour will be just about as nice to you!

For the record, I have never observed this taxi driver shuffle, taxis just always pick me up, when I try to flag them.
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyle,

not trying to give you a mental wedgie or anything. Wink

in fact, i wasn't directing my post at anyone in specific...i was making a general statement about folks fearing and loathing korean cabbies. these guys are harmless (and damn cheap) compared to taxis i've been in in most parts of the world.

yeah...they bug my sh*t from time to time, but 97.3% of the time i've no beef with them.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For the record, I have never observed this taxi driver shuffle,


Yes, but the OP has, and I have too. It's real. Taxis are much easier to get after 12:00 than they are at 11:45. And it may be that taxis are also more likely to stop for foreign females at 11:45 than foreign males.
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