Wuan accompanied me to Mines Shopping Fair to conduct a seminar last Sunday. The taxi that we took got lost just before the shopping complex and had to circle around the area looking for the correct road. That cost us another fifteen minutes. When we finally arrived, the meter showed RM14.
“I bagi you discount,” the cabbie said, admitting that it was his fault. “You bayar RM10 cukuplah.”
I looked at him and patted his back. I have never met a cabbie more honest than him.
“Tak apalah, ikut meter,” I told him.
There was a noticeable look of appreciation in his face. He deserved it anyway. When he stopped to pick us up earlier, he had helped Wuan load the wheelchair into the boot. Not many cabbies do that. Realising that he had no cord to fasten the boot cover, he put the wheelchair on the back seat instead. What more, he did not even charge us the RM1 that was usually added to the fare for extra luggage.
However, it was the total opposite when we tried to get a cab back after the seminar. There was a row of taxis waiting outside the main entrance of the shopping complex. Their engines were turned off. We knew they were not going to use the meter. When we got near, one cabbie asked us where we wanted to go.
After we told him our intended destination, he thought for a while and said, “RM35.”
Wuan told him that we only paid RM10 for the journey there. The cabbie countered by saying that he had to pay the toll and that was the standard fare they charge for that distance. We did not even want to haggle with him after that. We would have willingly paid RM15 but what he asked for was plain daylight robbery.
Lazy and unscrupulous cabbies like this give the honest and hardworking ones a bad name. Sebab nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga. They would rather loaf for hours to shark one passenger than to drive around and pick up a few more.
Mines Shopping Fair is not the only place where such extortionists roam. Wuan and I have experienced the same outside Suria KLCC and Ikano. On those times, we would usually send out a SOS to William who would come to our rescue, no matter where we were or what time it was. He came to our rescue too this time. Truly, we are blessed with a friend who had time and again retrieved us from sticky situations.