Monday, February 14, 2011

Taxi lingo

I told you before that South Africa has 11 official languages, but we kind of forgot 1 and that is the taxi lingo!
They even have an official book about it; Taxi hand signs by Susan Woolf. Each sign has a specific destination, and you need to learn your sign otherwise you will end up somewhere completely different.




Every day the locals take taxis to go to their work, and these taxis are quite something! People line up on the side of the street every morning and evening and make these signs, so the taxi drivers know where they want to go and stop... abrupt, most of the time and let the person in their mini van. To the annoyance of me when I am driving behind them, because they make a sudden stop right in front of you!!

These drivers are the MOST DANGEROUS wild cowboys on the road!! They totally ignore the traffic rules, stuff 20-25 people in their bus/mini van actually which normally only fits 8-10 people. They overtake other cars on the right and the left, go through red, yellow and green lights whenever it suits them. So no wonder that MOST of the traffic accidents here, which happen daily and many many a day... a taxi driver is involved!! And they are not only dangerous and reckless drivers their mini van is mostly hanging together by duct tape, string or barbed wire, so chances are that they break down once in a while is very high!!



Accidents are often fatal, can you imagine having a mini van stuffed with so many people inside it is actually illegal in the rest of the world, but I guess not in SA, since nobody really does anything about it....




So I wouldn't advice a tourist to go into a mini van/taxi like the locals do, since it could be the wildest roller coaster ride you have ever made and it could end up really bad!! I don't ever see any expats like me hopping in one of those taxis, when we need a taxi we try to find a yellow cab, a normal car, much safer. But over here most expats have their own car or hire a taxi service via the office, not just plucking one of the street... it is just not done here in my area! If I like to have a roller coaster ride I go to the fair!!

So public transport is not really safe here, although they have a new Gautrain these days, which is an 80-kilometre mass rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. It is hoped that this railway will relieve the traffic congestion in the Johannesburg–Pretoria traffic corridor and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg has limited public transport infrastructure. But that is NOT for the local local people who can't afford this kind of futuristic transport, so the taxis still thrive... but maybe that is not the correct word for it... if you see how banged up they look like!! LOL

So how is the local public transportation where you live, pretty decent?? Do you use it?

Have a great day!
Mireille

21 comments:

Emm said...

This is one of the top reasons I won't move back - no public transport system to speak of. And now that the toll on the highway is going to be 66c/kilometre, I imagine cars will be pushed off the highways on to the already oversubscribed roads.

Nice post though! Love your photos and this is great advice to tourists and expats.

Leah and Maya said...

sounds scary to me. In Guatemala it was really crazy how many people they would shove into things with no real traffic laws, just driving where ever they please. And to see babies in front packs on motorcycles, or whole families on scooters, just craziness. Very laid back here.

plantagenet said...

Love that Post, M. so much S.A. and everyone sees the gestures and no one knows what it means. Grand post. Thanks. Don't we all love that country?

Michele Ward said...

une application destinée à faciliter la localisation et réservation d’un taxi se trouvant dans une même zone que le client qui parfois a du mal à le localiser alors qu’il se trouve à moins d’un bloc de sa position.
Taxi-Diali, comme son nom l’indique clairement, c’est une application bien adaptée à tout téléphone mobile fonctionnant sous le système Android. Une fois téléchargée dans chaque portable, du client et du chauffeur de taxi, elle permet à ce dernier d’être facilement repéré par son client qui cherche patiemment un taxi.
Bien sur, pour le client dès que l’application lui signale la présence d’un taxi ou plusieurs dans la même zone où il se trouve, il aura toute la latitude de choisir et de faire appel à celui qui lui convient le mieux puisque toutes les coordonnées du taxi sont affichées dans son écran. Lorsque le client valide son choix pour tel taxi , le chauffeur du dit taxi peut également identifier la position de l’appelant grâce à la géolocalisation intégrée dans l’application et rappliquer directement à sa position sans qu’il ne lui la donne.
Taxi Diali est un service gratuit qui permet de faire gagner beaucoup de temps et épargner des attentes indéterminées à tous ceux qui sont en déplacement dans une grande ville ou tout simplement à ceux qui veulent pour une raison ou une autre

Find Taxi in Marrakech

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