I have been in New York City for 8 weeks so far. When I arrived, my first reaction was simply “oh my god.” Everything is so impressive and grand, with fancy lights everywhere and so many people. It’s really a busy city and I initially wondered if I would ever find my way back home.
Among all the great things, one thing that stood out in NYC are cab drivers. In Germany, almost all of my experiences with cab drivers were positive. They are friendly and respectful. But most of the cab drivers I have met in NYC are quite crazy and impolite. The best example of this is my horrific experience two weeks ago. After a nice dinner with friends, we took a cab back home to Brooklyn. For one reason or another, my friend and the cab driver got into an argument. My girl friends and I were terrified and one by one were getting out of the cab as he was yelling and screaming at us. I was the last one to exit the cab and as I put my foot out of the door, the driver decided to hit the pedal and in his rage he ran over my foot. This was no accident; he didn't even care! Never in my life did I ever expect a sprained ankle and police officers from a simple cab ride home.
It doesn't stop there. Other negative experiences I have with cab drivers in NYC are a result of how bad they are with directions. They seem to get lost or have to ask for the address more than twice. That would never happen in Germany where taxi drivers are professional and know spot on where the location is if you give them the address... it's very simple.
My last vent about cab drivers in NYC is their efforts to rip people off! A few days ago after we took a cab and reached our destination, the driver told us his meter was broken. He couldn't tell us the exact price but definitely wanted more than what it would have been. He wanted to charge us $14 for a few blocks! It's amazing to think that cab drivers are the basis of so many conversation between my 2 girlfriends and me. It's crazy how many hours we've spent talking about the outrageous cab experiences.
It is ironic to me to have such an iconic symbol of NYC--the yellow cab-- be the source of such negative experiences during my time here. Basically, in Germany it’s not common to take cabs as it is here in NYC because it is so expensive there, but when you do, it's always a pleasant, relaxing time... not so much in NYC. At least my friends and I will have lots to share with our other friends and family back home in Germany. I will be sure to be extra appreciative and thankful for my enjoyable cab rides there!
Even though I may sound bitter about my cab experiences, it was the right decision to come here for three months and see something completely different. It has been the most thrilling time of my life thus far. In my opinion NYC is something that everybody must see at least once in their lifetime, whether their experiences are good or bad. NYC is definitely something to talk about... and the conversations never stop.