Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parisien Ride

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:


Invader_Stu said...

I'll have to try using a taxi when I am there in two weeks

~ Lopa said...


Yes, do and tell us your experience :o)
But to be on the safer side i just edited my post and included a disclaimer at the end ;o) hehe

PinayinDutchland said...

Hoy Lopa, adjusting well to Parisian life? Maybe you should study French as well so you can also complain about the traffic hehehe.

Oh by the way, have yo tried the macaroons from Laduree? Perfect with a espresso on an autumn afternoon.

~ Lopa said...

@ PinayinDutchland

Trying to settle in between travels :o) But yes no complains ! :o)

You won't believe i just ordered a few books on basic French the other day and received them last eve !!
Now thing to see is, how much time i can spare to actually read them and learn as clearly i am not getting much time to write here!

Ohh ya macaroons ;o) but not from Laduree yet :o(
Work trips are not that flexible ! :o(

Pres├ępio no Canal said...

I agree with you when you say the French are very nice. I go quite often to France since my 22 years and I just love the country and the people there.
I have no experience about taxis because I always use the metro in Paris.
I learnt French at High School, I like French poetry and music. However, last time I was in France, in August, I noticed some language difficulties because only Dutch words came to my mind. So now, I don't speak well English, French or Dutch ;-)))
But I know if I stay there one or two weeks, it will be easier.
I love Paris and it is a city that I know quite well ;-) Enjoy it!

Orangesplaash said...

We used the metro a lot, when we were there last year. But I have heard from a lot of friends about the traffic situation in Paris - as in any busy city anywhere in the world.
"It's another matter that even though you don't understand French, you got to listen French music." - haha!!


haha.. cool post Lopa... loved reading that incident of not being able to communicate with the driver.. and intelligent use of the applications. now I realised why these phones are called smartphones.. they help you do smart things, provided you can think of doing them when you need it the most. :)

my experiences with taxi drivers here have been educative.. first time I went in taxi in Melbourne and it was Indian.. and I felt myself lucky to have him.. but by the time I returned back the next day, I had travelled in 6 taxis and realized that more than 90% of taxi drivers in Melbourne are Indians. :)

Anonymous said...

Your disclaimer at the end said it all.
Normally I hear very bad things about french ppl. Very arrogant, rude n not so friendly.

Anyways, here in SG also cabbies r too talkative. Even though u show little interest in discussion still they will drag u into it. Fortunately here mostly all cabbies talk to u in English so at least that's the relief. I think cabbies world over need someone to vent out what's inside them :)

My Unfinished Life said...

well, i don't take taxi much, and while travelling on work related trips, mostly am provided with office taxi services, most of the driver whom i know from considerable time and they know that i dont like to talk much, so they just put in my luggage and drive me back to home or to the airport/rail staion quietly!!!

AmitL said...

Ohh...I wish we could import some of these drivers to India,to teach our taxi/auto drivers some lessons on good manners..:)Well written, fact,me being me, I always try and make polite conversation,or at least look interestedly about the taxi,to make the driver feel I'm appreciating the hard work he puts in at what otherwise must be a dreary job...and,nerve-wracking,too-coz of all the traffic rules,police cameras,etc-all ready to fine them.:)

AmitL said...

Wishing you a thrilling 2011..when's the first post of the NY coming up>>>

~ Lopa said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, and extremely sorry for keeping that busy that not been able to post any updates.

Wish you all a very happy 2011.

Unknown said...

I find it remarkable that he would feel sorry for yoou when you speak, what, three languages...? while he only speaks French. It is a big handicap the French have in general and it comes from a stubborness to let go of the fact that French is no longer the first foreign language that people study all over the world.

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