We thought this piece on the Life website was so hilarious—and true—we just couldn’t resist reproducing it here in full. If you find it as funny as we do, please let us know!
Ever since the emergence of taxi hailings via smartphones in Sri Lanka, most of us have latched onto that bandwagon and have never looked back.
The pleasures of being chauffeur-driven in an air-conditioned vehicle, happily oblivious to other maniacal drivers, and being free to chill out unbothered in the backseat is unbeatable. Besides, hailing a cab off the street is so last year. Amirite?
Not surprisingly, this has led to many trusty taxi uncles being ditched unceremoniously in favour of a new PickMe or Uber driver a day. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. In our defense, reliable old taxi uncle’s rates are a tad exorbitant, minus the AC.
And thanks to the unmerciful weather Gods who continue to shower us with gamuts of extreme weather, it’s almost a given that these taxi services find their popularity soaring.
So without further ado, here’s our rundown of the different types of taxi drivers (tuk tuks AND cars) you’ll probably encounter, if you haven’t already.
- The Talkative Driver: Hoping to catch a few Z’s? Nah bro, not happening. This driver will fit in more topics and issues from point A to B than the UN General Assembly ever has or will. From the weather, to the economy to their apparent pet topic—politics—they leave no subject matter out. Very rarely knowledgeable about topics discussed, he will infuriate you with his ignorance and his insufferable “know-it-all” opinions.
- The Silent Driver: If you’re lucky, you’ll get a “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. And that’s about the only exchange you will ever have with this driver. This driver is quite rare, and you will praise the Lord if you’re lucky enough to snag one!
- The Inquisitive One: If there’s a type worse than the talkative driver, it’s the inquisitive one. Their questions border on creepy, and you’ll spend your ride planning an escape, should things go south.
- The Political Activist: Much like our talker, this driver has a lot to say. Only, they’re topics are limited to politics. Either they’re vociferously campaigning for a certain party, or slamming another. Anything you say will immediately be linked to politics. Floods? Oh it’s definitely because of the X party. Too hot? Of course the Y party caused it!
- The “I-Clearly-Don’t-Know-How-To-Read-A-GPS” Driver: It doesn’t get simpler than this—you’ve specified your location perfectly on the map, the little blue dot pin points exactly where you are. It’s so simple. So obvious. So straightforward. A child could read it. But not, it turns out, your driver. He will take the route in the opposite direction to your location, or end up two lanes away. Another day, another wrong move before finally disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle. Make use of the navigation option, maybe?
- The 5-Star Seeker: This driver will be pretty great until you’re at your destination, at which point they will make you rethink the 5 stars you were going to give them by saying “ 5 stars, no?”. Their desperation will put you off, if their request hasn’t already.
- The Businessman: This driver has one thing on their mind, and that’s making more money. Within seconds of commencing the ride, this driver will put out feelers, gather enough info, then pull out his wares and try to sell you Ayurvedic products that will cure your great aunt’s asthma. While we appreciate the business acumen, the ones that continue to badger you about their wares will no doubt infuriate you.
- The Perfect Driver: He knows to say the right thing at the right time, reading us as easily as if he were reading the ABC’s. He’s polite, finds you with minimal instructions, actually knows how to read the GPS. His car smells fresh, the interiors are clean. You couldn’t find a fault if you looked with a magnifying glass. Heck, he even opens the door for you! This is kinda guy who’s an unwitting indicator that you’re having a great day!
by Rihaab Mowlana, for Life