I love Paris taxis.
Ohh wait, apart from that one from last year which changed my mind to no travelling alone late evenings.
But now as i normally take morning or early evening flights, that is working good.
So now i think Paris taxi drivers are quite good actually, and also very smart. Like take this one, 99% of them know already that you are one of those asking-reciept type and they won't wait until you are at your destination but will try multitasking by doing it well in advance while driving, taking advantage of traffic.
They will try to make you feel good, some will put nice music ON for you, also changing channel or CDs looking at your expression in the mirror until there reflects sober expressions on your face. ( It's another matter that even though you don't understand French, you got to listen French music. )
Then there are these all friendly types who feel bad that we can't talk with each other due to our limited or no knowledge of other language. You can see them feeling miserable on not being able to be of any help to you from getting bored. I don't know who spread that word about French that they are a bit arrogant and one not wanting to talk in anything else than French. They are very nice actually.
Once this one taxi driver kept talking to me in French which i didn't understand and i kept saying i don't understand French. But he wouldn't stop. Then an idea clicked, i took out my iPhone, opened translation application, types in English, translated it in French that i do not speak French and i only speak English and may be a little bit Dutch if knows it. And he kept laughing for next 5 mins. And then he kept looking at me in mirror giving me a warm smile now and then. I don't know was it for my effort or he felt pity for me or he was just amused ! May be the last one. But that only lasted for half an hour, then we were in the middle of city, struck in traffic and he couldn't help but to talk with me in French ! Ok so then it was my turn to just look at him and smile. No, i didn't take that effort to take my phone out again and to type - translate - read. Just smile.
Most common topic to try to make conversation is traffic, sometimes it goes like they saying little traffic with smile and when you reply too much, they will correct you with No, little traffic. OK.
They will even check on you from mirror if you haven't fallen asleep. ( highly possible considering your luck in traffic and also if you took early morning flight. ) When you notice this they will give you a smile assuring you are not very far now.
They can talk with same/ limited 5 English words they know and will try to give you a company.
Ohh and sometimes they will like you praising their taxi. Once I had a really nice taxi, all leather and all and he actually asked me if I like his taxi ! And yes he really had a very good taxi, he deserves to be proud of it ! I think.
What are your taxi experiences impressions?
All the observations put here might be gender specific, in adverse experience writer is not to be blamed ! ;o)
Picture Courtesy: http://lyricsdigger.info/s/taxi%20a%20paris