The cab shyster

Today Jeff and I decided to go to the park after work, so I met him at his office and we took a cab uptown. It was a lovely, hot day, the first real day of spring, and a national holiday.

As we were riding, I noticed that the driver was taking a slightly inefficient route to get to the park, but it wasn’t an egregious case of fare inflation so I didn’t worry about it. I figured he’d possibly make a few extra kuai, but with the traffic slow on more traveled roads, it’d be more or less even.

At any rate, just as we were entering the on-ramp to the second ring road — it functions like a freeway within the city— he slammed on his breaks. We weren’t going too fast, but it caused the car behind to rear-end us. This is the first car accident I’ve been in in China, so I was mildly excited and a little worried it’d delay us.

He hopped out of his car, exchanged pleasantries with the other driver, who was a young army official driving a rather nice look sedan, 200 kuai exchanged hands and in less than a minute we were driving along as before.

The thing is, the taxi driver had no reason to stop, and our slow speed insured that little damage would be done. I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose. I wonder how often he gets in accidents…