Saturday, December 26, 2009

More on Taxis and Driving in Bulgaria

I take a lot of taxis, since this is the way that I travel back and forth to work (a very cheap mode of transportation here in Bulgaria, as compared to many other countries). Since my office provided me with vouchers which are deducted from my salary at the end of the month, I’ve also gotten proficient in ordering a taxi in Bulgarian. This works fine as long as I just have to tell them where I want to be picked up from and where I want to go to. The problem arises when they sometimes call me back after 10 minutes to tell me that there are no taxis available – then I have to switch to English, in order to understand what they’re saying. Unfortunately, this has been happening with some frequency as late, since the taxi drivers don’t like to come for short trips, especially when the weather is bad. So, I often have to wait a long time to get a taxi.

A disturbing thing that I’ve noticed in quite a number of taxis of late is the appearance of a small TV screen in the front near the driver. Somehow, I really don’t think that this is the safest thing to have on while driving. If they were only watching it while they’re parked and waiting for a fare, that might be ok. Then again, if they have so much free time while waiting for a call that they can watch TV, how come there are no taxis to be found when I try and order one?

And my last observation for the day – sometimes, when we reach a large intersection, and stop for a red light – and the traffic that is coming from the cross street is backed up, and can’t move, then many drivers feel that it is ok to make a right turn on a red light, since nothing is moving in the opposite direction anyway...

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