Two Tales from Martin S.

Yes…it’s a mistake you only make once 😉 (asking a cabbie to take you someplace “rustic”)

I did once ask Algerian taxi drive to take us to the restaurant HE would eat in from choice. I had to explain that the Intercontinental Hotel didn’t count and I meant something more ‘rustic’. Once we sorted all that out he took me to a shack on the edge of the beach about 20 km outside Algiers. Fishing boats came in at ground level; gutted and cleaned on the beach and sent to the restaurant on the upper floor. Plastic chairs, Formica topped tables, bottled water, local rough wine. No choice of menus. Catch of the day plus salad plus fresh bread. You could choose how the fish was cooked. Whole meal for me, my colleague the taxi driver and a bunch of his friends came to about 50 dollars in hard currency including the fare back to the city.

Best fish meal I’ve ever had anywhere.

Fortunately we were about as drunk as the cabbie so didn’t worry about much till next morning…

I once told a cab driver in Paris I was in a hurry and possibly late for a flight. I was ok with the dashing thru a service station to gain some ground and not too bad with the driving on the hard shoulder and weaving from lane to lane but the bit where we tucked in behind an ambulance with its lights on pretty much did for me.

Then I moved to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) where all this is normal daily behavior for everyone including the police. Pah…cab drivers know nothing in comparison to the driver of an overloaded pickup or a small Emirati child driving a souped up Range Rover.

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