So last night I was trying to catch a cab in the rain. It doesn't rain often here in Beijing so I was enjoying the fresh air as I stood at the side of the road waiting for a taxi. Naturally it was tough to flag down a taxi because of the rain and high demand for cabs. I waited 15 minutes, as the rain became a little bit harder, waiting patiently for a taxi to stop and even giving up taxis to other pedestrians waiting for cabs (I'm just that nice of a guy). After 15 or 20 minutes I begin to get extremely wet, wet to the point that I am getting concerned about my computer in my backpack - not to mention my digital SLR. Right about then a taxi comes up the road, available light on the top shining in the dark like a lighthouse to a wayward sailor. My taxi, no one else is anywhere near me mind you, slows, takes a look at me and drives off down the road for another passenger. Why? Why would a Beijing taxi driver decide not to pick me up? Is it because I am a foreigner? Experience says no. Is it because I am an intimidating person, a hulking bearded bear of a man? Experience also says no in this case. Is it because I look like I don't have money to pay the taxi fare? Definitely no, my regular use of the term "bu yao" to overzealous street vendors proves otherwise. Why then? After three or four cabs do the exact same thing over the next 15 minutes I begin to realize, the cabs aren't picking me up because I am fucking soaked. And I was soaked, wet almost all the way through. My shirt was soaked through and my jeans were well on their way and the cab drivers were not having it. I wasn't being picked up by a taxi because I was going to foul their crappy taxis with water, that's right, water. Once I realized this I became fairly unhappy and began walking. I walked for a while, stopping on occasion to try to flag another taxi, but mostly walking. I walked for 35 minutes, through rain rivers in the street, through mud, through being splashed by cars, through bands of rogue Beijing youths pointing and laughing, through foreign students saying "ni hao" with American accents, all the way back to my hotel computer and camera more or less intact, pride damaged.
Beijing Taxi Drivers are Scumbags. I am considering changing the title of my blog to reflect this. In fact, on the way back to my apartment I considered changing the theme of my blog to reflect how evil taxi drivers in Beijing were documenting and taking pictures of their evil faces and their unethical behaviors.
Then I realized that in the long run, who really gives a shit. Hell, I got a funny story out of the whole thing. That said, I have vowed a personal vendetta against all Beijing taxi drivers. That's right Beijing taxi drivers you have been warned. You just made "the list".