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Old 30th November 2008, 14:30   #16
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Hey Taz,

Nice write up, Indians usually would not boast of such a job, but times are changing and nice see this this write up.

Please do share more experiences, and also if you have had any issues with to locals on your origin.
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Old 30th November 2008, 16:16   #17
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Loved the write up ! Please post the third part soon.
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Old 30th November 2008, 16:53   #18
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Good to know about such experiences from someone from this side of the fence, for people who haven't lived/been abroad, the word "cabbie" instantly brings to mind a uncouth, traffic rules breaking person.
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Old 30th November 2008, 17:17   #19
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what an interesting experience :-) waiting for more.

why oh why did I not think of this job. I was stuck in a boring petrol station instead in my uni days. I have to say that you planned your part time work brilliantly. \

Hope you did not get any unruly passengers. In the UK drunk skinheads could be quite a handful if you are Asian.

Last edited by Locomotive : 30th November 2008 at 17:19.
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Old 30th November 2008, 20:13   #20
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Thanks for taking your time off to share your experiences, truly interesting ones !
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Old 1st December 2008, 09:33   #21
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Thank you people for such a response. I am glad you'll are enjoying this and I am trying my best to recall everything I can to post it here. I never thought I will be posting my experience on a forum but here I am posting it at the best possible place team_bhp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post

Hope you did not get any unruly passengers. In the UK drunk skinheads could be quite a handful if you are Asian.
I didn't get any unruly passengers, I did get drunk passengers but none of them were racist. One of the reasons could be 50% of taxi drivers in Melbourne are Indians and have a very strong union. Apart from taxis I had only one instance of racial abuse that too on my last day at Melbourne when I was checking in my luggage.

The sad part is the Taxi drivers in Mumbai are subject to more racial abuses being an Indian (north Indian and stuff).

Guys those who are planning to go abroad to places where you are allowed to work plan it in advance and if you'll need any help PM me.

I will post the third part and few more experiences as soon as I am able to finish typing it.

Till then enjoy the pics of my 1989 Nissan Pintara.
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Old 1st December 2008, 10:18   #22
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Oops the pictures. I am unable to edit my post can someone PM me and help me out.
Attached Thumbnails
Myself, Studies, Cabs and Caffeine-nissan-1.jpg  

Myself, Studies, Cabs and Caffeine-nissan2.jpg  

Myself, Studies, Cabs and Caffeine-nissan3.jpg  

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Old 1st December 2008, 17:06   #23
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The Frosty Night

This was a scary experience. It was wintertime some where in June and as usual I was finishing my shift around 7 am. There is a saying amongst cabbies bad things normally happen at the start or the end of the shift. The temperature was around 2 .c with chilly winds and when the temperature dips that’s when you get max business. Also at such temperature the road becomes frosty and the entire road becomes a skating ring. So it was a super busy day and turn around time from one job to other was very short. I picked up a passenger and it was a short ride I immediately took off again inexperience coming into action. I was doing max allowed speed of 60kph in suburbs when I hit a red light. On seeing the red light I immediately braked. There was a car in front of me and to make everything worst I was driving on the tram tracks. (In Melbourne certains roads are shared by trams) add to it the frost. With the break paddle completely pushed in the wheels immediately lost traction I could hear the clicking sound of ABS preventing the wheels from locking. Thank fully I was able to avoid the car in front of me because of ABS but ended being on the wrong side of the road. I immediately recovered and went back on the right side. I say all’s well that ends well the passenger had no clue what happened he was drunk.

When I met Brett Lee

Well this is when I was waiting in a long queue at the Crown casino. I was called and asked to go to the 2nd entrance of Crown. In comes the passengers 4 of them 2 guys and 2 girls. One of them says “Flitzroy Street” that’s another place where clubs are. After some while in the journey I realized that the passenger sitting next to me was Bret Lee on the back seat was Gibbs and their girlfriends. Australia and S.A. series was going on at that time. Somehow I was not too excited because I never thought I would be giving a ride to these players. It sank into me once I dropped them but no great interaction with them. In the entire journey Lee just asked me “are you an Indian” and I said “yes” he replied back “so Sachin is God in your country” and I said “yes Cricketing God”. That’s about it.

Being on the Bad side of the Law

As you all know taxi drivers have to wear a uniform. I used to wear it every day except for a couple of days when I have not managed to finish my laundry. Anyways this day was when I had not managed it. I was wearing the taxi company’s shirt all right but was wearing denims with them a big no no. And guess what happens a surprise check by the Cab authorities there is a particular name for them but I cannot recall it at this time. And they ask me sir how long have you been driving I said a couple of hours. They checked on their computer and verified the same. Now they ask me are you doing business still I said “yes”. Can you please step out we need to check your cab for Road worthiness and you licenses. They do these routine checks to verify if the cabs are road worthy or no. Road worthy report come “your rear tires will need replacement soon are you the owner” I said “no sir” “ok give this note to the owner he has 7 days to present the cab with new tires everything else with the car is good”. And the he removed another pavti (Ticket) as we call it in Mumbai and said “this is for you” it said 90$ for not wearing uniform I could not argue by this time I had a strong bank balance and was in no mood to argue (anyways I was wrong).
Other than that I have only been booked once for lane cutting or lane jumping as they call it in Australia.

Guys I am trying the best to narrate my experiences in the best possible way. In the next part I will explain why cabbies drive the way they do.
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Old 1st December 2008, 20:25   #24
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Superb stuff, bro. Really, an inspiration. And your description just shows how the system is so different in developed countries. Getting fined for wearing denim!! Geez.
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Old 1st December 2008, 20:55   #25
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Excellent stuff boss. Keep it rolling ..

I wonder how many Indian students go through this routine? Pretty sure there are similar stories elsewhere in Australia. This is a first on T-Bhp though
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Old 2nd December 2008, 15:58   #26
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Tazman, Very nostalgic write ups. Good experiences in life go a long way!! I can feel the passion in your write ups. Keep them coming!!
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Old 6th December 2008, 00:37   #27
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taz my friend very good stuff indeed-nice stories waiting for more.
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Old 6th December 2008, 17:36   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post
When I met Brett Lee

... Lee just asked me “are you an Indian” and I said “yes” he replied back “so Sachin is God in your country” and I said “yes Cricketing God”. That’s about it.....


Thats hillarious!

Great stories from the other side of the meter tazmaan. Keep em coming.

cya
R
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Old 6th December 2008, 23:19   #29
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Nice write up. The last one, business man one was quite interesting.
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Old 29th December 2008, 15:57   #30
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Hey guys sorry for the delay but was caught up with some work, here it comes ....

Why Cabbies Drive the way they do?

Most of the people hate cabbies for their driving. Lane Cutting, turning without any indication/indicators , suddenly stopping, stopping around corners etc etc. I always used to curse cabbies for their unorganized driving (I wouldn’t say rash) and sometimes I still do. As a cabbie I had tried my 100% to follow the traffic rules and even suffered for it sometimes. After a few weeks of driving I realized why cabbies drive the way they do . But have you ever wondered why they drive in such a manner?

Lets start with a question, When you are showing directions to the cab driver and your attention is diverted by say a phone call, nice chick , nice car etc and on reaching the corner of your turn you suddenly realize you didn’t instruct the cab driver to turn and you go “Bhaiya yah se right han yaha sah jaldi” (take a right from here , yes here) and before you know the driver cuts lanes to make that turn.

Example: This was when I had just started driving cabs and was new to most of the roads in Melbourne. I got a fare from city to the suburbs to a location I didn’t know. I was looking up on my map when the customer said “I will show you the way” and I asked “Are you sure madam I can look it up” she said oh “no worries”. Off we went she would inform me about the turns and we were almost there when she got engrossed in what looked like an SMS may be an email on her phone. Suddenly she looks up and say “this right this right” I was in the center lane but had crossed the dotted line and would have been illegal to cross the solid line. I missed the turn and there goes the customer “the next U turn is 500 meters ahead how could you miss the turn, I will not pay you for that extra fare blah blah blah” I couldn’t believe it and didn’t argue anything with her as I was new at job. I ended up paying the extra money from my pocket.

After I discussed this with few of my Cabbie friends they told me it a normal practice and that’s why they end up cutting lanes at times. In Melbourne a lot of major junctions have cameras and eventually you learn which junction has a camera and which doesn’t. Then you can cut lanes without the fear of being caught by a camera.

This was Australia now lets talk about Mumbai cabbies, they are not equipped with maps/GPS . I don’t think Mumbai is mapped properly even. So if you are a cabbie you will have to rely on customer directions most of the times. Now imagine the chances that a cabbie would get an instruction to turn at the last moment.

The same funda goes for stopping abruptly when the customer says “there it is stop stop”. Now if you don’t stop customer will say oh now I will have to walk back, you didn’t stop where I wanted to etc. This will either lead to an argument or some reduction in money either way the cabbies will lose. It’s sad but it’s a viscous circle over a period of time 'cab driver turns in to cabbie from a driver'.

Apart from this most of the time cabbies would drive fast because the customer asks them to drive fast. Example of is the movie taxi 9211 when the passenger asks the cabbie to push it ending up in an accident. I have asked the cabbie to do that myself and I know for sure a lot of people do it. I was once asked by a passenger who said drive over the speed limit incase you get caught I will pay for the ticket. I simply said sir you can step down and take another cab but I cant speed he even offered 1.5 times the actual fare I still refused. Not everyone is like me and a lot of people would speed. So for the greed of money and sometimes even to help in desperate situations cabbies end up seeding (Some cabbies are actual nut cases and drive fast but hey that’s true for other drivers too)

Now apart from driving under customer pressure there is one Big factor fatigue. I used to drive for 12 hours straight in an air-conditioned car with automatic transmission and heated/massager seat. And towards the end of the shift would always be edgy and irritated as a result of fatigue. Imagine doing this for at least 6 days a week, its torture some. In India most of the cabbies do shifts of more than 12 hours in a car that can barely drive. Their fatigues levels are unimaginable and I feel sorry for them. Its always said in the world of cabbies ‘most of the accidents happen at the end of the shift’.

So next time when you take a cab the least you can do is be a responsible passenger.

Guys that basically wraps up about what I had to say. If anyone has some questions do ask them. Thank you for reading.
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