Waikiki Bound

This anecdote is hardly on the same scale as Tito’s, but my ‘hair-raising’ travel experience on my recent round-the-world trip was a taxi ride from the base of Diamond Head to Waikiki beach. The touting driver offered to take a bunch of us tourists (three Japanese and me) for 3 dollars each, only slightly more than the $2.50 the bus cost, and a lot quicker off the mark. Then two more tourists joined our group, and he put the price down to $2 a head. We piled into his minivan, all smiles. When the latter couple got out first and handed over their money, the driver yelled that they needed to pay more — it was three dollars a head. I pointed out that he’d said two, and he laughed, saying “How could I charge you less than the bus?”, and claimed it must have been his accent that had caused the ‘misunderstanding’. In the immortal words of Basho: “Yeah, right”. We all heard two dollars. Three dollars was still a good deal, but for some reason he felt the need to scam us….

It is true, of course, that such dubious characters ensure that they do not simply blend into the background of a journey: their dodgy-ness grants them a certain immortality.

taxi ride
to Waikiki —
the revised fare
drops like a coconut

(Other images from my trip can be viewed at kyotosnow.wordpress.com.)

Tito, whatever the state of their vehicle, your driver and his companion at least seemed sincere in their attempts to convey you. I trust your destination did not prove mythical in the end, and will feature in the next instalment!