Trapped in Taiwan

From Samantha S.

In Taiwan, the taxi driver was eating a type of nut that makes your teeth red and also makes you somewhat “buzzed” as if intoxicated. We noticed the red teeth which was not a good sign but we were in a rush.

At a stoplight, the taxi driver simply slumped over (I’d like to assume he passed out) and fell onto the horn which had been modified to a rapid gun firing blasts (now outlawed for noise pollution). The car coasted to a stop in the middle of the intersection. The doors were locked by the driver (a common practice so riders couldn’t bolt without paying). The window handles had been removed for the same purpose.

There was no way out and the sound of that horn was unbearable, the passed out driver with red juice spilling out of his mouth was no party either. The heat and humidity were intense and we were stuck like caged animals (or goldfish in a bowl?). The only way out was to pull the driver back in his seat, open his door and crawl over him and out of the taxi.

Just as strange, no cars stopped, they simply drove straight at us honking angrily at the nuisances emerging from the loud car – covered in red smears…no one paid attention to the man laying in the front seat with red stuff seeping out of his mouth. We had to flag down a police officer to assist the man. We never knew what happened to the driver because the officer shooed us away.

I was half deaf in both ears for three days after that ride – not to mention traumatized. And I didn’t ride in another taxi for a long time!

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