Travel Exposé: Black Alert!(Hei Che 黑车)

Transport in China is an extremely efficient public amenity, ranging from Subways, buses, trams, taxis, trains, rickshaws, planes. Yes, when you want to go somewhere, you can definitely get there and if it’s not rush hour, then you can probably get there with relative ease. With the advent and unrelenting progress of technology and apps, it is now even easier, and cheaper to get from point A to point B in ease and comfort. The Age of Uber, Di Di, and kuai che is upon us, and they make commuting an absolute joy ( If they can find your location that is). However, 10 years earlier, before these miracle apps, how they one get from A to B when you were really in a bind? The answer was, the Black Cabs. As the name suggests Black cabs are usually black, but not always and here are a few tips why you should never take them if you can avoid it.

49_20140919090915_mdlg91: Con-artists: As a rule of thumb if you can, and especially if you have no choice but to take a black cab, NEVER do it. Tinted black windows, dimly lit interiors with ambiguous odours ranging from cigarette smoke, to alcohol to dried meat, to shifty drivers who have no consideration for traffic laws. It’s nightmarish at best but “Black cabs” are especially to be avoided however, because the drivers always charge twice to five times as much what the trip should cost. They try every gimmick imaginable in an attempt to relieve you of your money which include but are certainly not limited to, for example driving all over the city for a trip making a 10 minute commute last hours or intentionally getting stuck in traffic just to run up the meter (if they have one that is), etc. This helpful rule of thumb should especially by followed if your need to take a Black cab is a direct result of inclement weather such as torrential rain or snowfall. These cab drivers are relentless and WILL make you wish you had braved hypothermia instead.

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2: Life Threatening: Sometimes the unwitting Black cab picks up someone who doesn’t stand for nonsense, especially when it comes to money. Sometimes a passenger knows the approximate price of one journey and refuses to pay the drivers exorbitant fare. In these situations, especially if you are a female passenger, the black cab drivers may stop the car, and threaten you with knives, daggers or broken glass bottles in order to get your cash. In my personal experience, one of my close friends was also threatened in a similar manner. The Driver stopped the car in the middle of a tall bridge and dragged her and her boyfriend out of the back seat, then continued to pull her boyfriend towards the safety rails. Shaken by what was happening my friend quickly paid the fare, and the driver left them there, in the middle of no where. The life lesson so violently learnt was;  Never take black cabs.

3: Organ harvesting: It sounds very much like a horror movie which should be called“TAXI” in big blood red,dripping block letters accompanied by a Hitchcock style suspenseful overture doesn’t it? However, whats more terrifying is that such things have actually occurred in Black cabs. Patrons enter the cabs, and wake up, hours later, missing kidneys and other organs.

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4: Rape: If you are a lone female travelling, then as a rule of thumb it would be best to avoid Black cabs. There have been instances where female university students were abducted and taken advantage of during their sojourn on the Black cabs.

That’s it for this weeks useful tips, and I apologise for the heavy tone of this weeks issue. However, safety first, and I hope to see you next week!

The Weekly funny continues next week!! So please enjoy our tips in the interim!

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