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11:56pm on Wednesday, 20th July, 2011:



My taxi driver at Stuttgart airport wasn't happy when I gave him the piece of paper with the address of the hotel on it. Firstly, he didn't know where it was and had to ask his SatNav; secondly, his SatNav told him it was only 3km away. He said (in poor English that was nevertheless orders of magnitude better than my German) there were 300 taxis behind him in the rank and 3km wasn't going to get him much money. Nevertheless, he had to take me.

Things went well until the SatNav told him to turn right and he couldn't because roadworks blocked off the street. He continued, then the SatNav told him to go down a one-way street the wrong way. At this point, he fell out with the SatNav. He went back to the dual carriageway and proceeded to ignore the SatNav on the next 6 or 7 insistances that he turn left. When he finally considered its advice sound, I was beginning to wonder if we were in the same city we started off in. We arrived shortly after, having travelled rather more than 3km. I don't know how much more, but the fare was 23 euros.

I'm utterly supine when it comes to taxis, so of course I paid. Nevertheless, it did seem rather a coincidence that he was annoyed at only having a small journey after waiting in a line 300 taxis long, and yet he wound up with a reasonable payment after all.

The most annoying thing is, I'd have given him a nice tip if he'd actually only gone the 3km he said we were supposed to be going.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).