The trusted (?) taxi
This happened a long time ago, more than a year ago. I reached Bengaluru airport at around 12:00 am or around such time. I wanted to immediately reach my room and try getting some sleep before the next working day starts.
Although at that time there would be no traffic, but I did not want to push through the airport bus crowd. Therefore I took a taxi. These airport taxis are very good and you pay whatever it is on the meter, along with a receipt.
I got into the taxi and told the destination. It is around 40 kilometers from the airport, therefore it is time to relax for around an hour. Nothing to do except occasionally check if we are taking the correct turns, although these guys follows google maps, and always follows the direction which was discussed before boarding the taxi, or whatever you tell.
After I got down, I gave him two 500 Rupees note. The fare is generally on the range of 800 ~ 900 Rupees. At that day too, the bill was around 800 Rupees, as far as I remember.
He told me that he does not have enough notes to give me the balance change. This kind of situation is very common to trick the passenger to not give the money back. Many people won’t spend the time and effort to make change and just let the driver keep the money. Or, it can also be the case that the driver really has no change, a pretty viable situation.
I did not have change either. I called a person in my apartment and asked him to keep some 100 Rupees note ready. Then I told the taxi person to wait here or come with me and I will give him the exact fare. He replied that he cannot leave the car as there was no parking, and he will not let me go without paying. Fair enough.
I took my luggage out. I had two options, the first is to ask my friend in the apartment to come down with the money. Or, a more interesting option, let the driver keep the two 500 Rupees note, and I go with the luggage to my room and get the 100 Rupees notes, come back and pay him the exact fare.
The second option was more interesting, the maximum risk was to lose a couple of hundred rupees. I told him that you can keep this money for now and handed him the two 500 Rupees note. I also told him that I will be back in a maximum of 10 minutes, and then I will pay the exact fare. I also mentioned him not to go anywhere and to wait for me. The guy assured me that he will stay there.
As I got down, I noted the time. It took around 5 minutes for me to get to my apartment with the money, but there was no one there for the transaction. I checked well for the car, but at that time of the night, there was almost no cars parked nearby.
Anyone can tell that what I have done is foolish. Yes, it is foolish, but it is interesting, and the loss is not that heavy. The observation is much more interesting than loosing the money. Didn’t I know that the guy will run away? Yes I did. But, the problem is that what if the guy was really going to stay? Maybe the guy though I was not going to return, maybe he was hired by someone else. There can be many possibilities. Although the highest possibility was that he got away with the money, as it took around 5 minutes for me to get back.
Though this is just one case, I have never found any taxi driver charging me more. Though sometimes you have to be real harsh, when the taxi guy demands extra money. I can post those stories next time.