Old, smelly taxis are a fine way to introduce tourists to Hong Kong
I guess I struck gold last week after having been in Hong Kong for over 40 years, by hailing surely the worst taxi ever. I do mean the worst ever, in any country that I have ever travelled in.
The taxi I took from Central screeched to a halt in front of me, and the door swung open so that it nearly hit me. Once I got in, the stench inside was out of this world, an odour combining human waste, unwashed clothes and sweat. The front passenger seat was filled with what looked like the driver’s personal belongings. The mechanical window winder (yes, the vehicle was that old) was broken on my side and I had to scoot over to the other side of the back seat to wind open the window.
I thought about just paying the fare, getting out and taking another taxi, but it was only a four-minute ride and I made the call to stay. I would like to know if any reader has been as lucky as me to have hit this jackpot of a ride. Just imagine a tourist being greeted by such a taxi on his first day in Hong Kong.
I love Hong Kong and I don’t want it to be seen in a bad light. But I can’t believe that little is being done to improve the taxi trade. All this talk about a demerit system is just talk and it’s going to be a toothless tiger. Competition from other modes of transport is the way to improve quality.
Eric Lee, Central