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ΤΑΞΙ in Greece !! “tarifa”

My Dear readers,

I know .. it has been a long time I do not post any additional place … and I do apologize for it :)

Actually there are still a couple of destinations I would like to write about but …. I think this time I would like to introduce you to a very atypical experience  in Greece  – a must do – I would like to talk about Taxi  …….

You would wonder … why taxis??? is there any difference about taking  a Taxi in Greece ???

Well … actually taking a taxi in Greece is a MUST DO experience BUT  you need to be ready for it :)

Info about Taxi – ΤΑΞΙ

First of all you need to know that Taxis in Greece are yellow and you can find them or at taxi stations or you can stop them on their way. Usually they are not expensive and this is why it is common use of people living in Greece to move with taxi.

Don’t expect a nice / luxury / clean car ….. a taxi is a yellow car with Taxi written on top of it. Any models are ok, nice or not, clean or not …

Don’t expect to find a “polite” person or a person that treats you as a client … most of the time you won’t even be allowed to have a call during your trip due to the very loud music or because the taxi driver is keeping talking on the phone – in a loud voice – without paying any attention about your presence….

On top of the fee for the trip every single luggage has a cost! therefore don’t get upset if there are asking you for more money than the one indicated

Most of all you have to keep  in mind that Taxi drivers are the king of the road ! they rule! they do whatever they want! any time they want!

Rules

But I can assure you that if you follow these 7 basic rules you would really enjoy your trip :)

RULE NUMBER #1  before getting in the taxi politely ask the taxi driver if he is  willing to bring you to your destination ….

Actually it could seem quite strange or let’s say unbelievable but Taxi Drivers may not bring you to the destination requested simply because they do not want to  … for many reasons. .. it could be too far … they could run short of gasoline  (there might be a strike) ….. you are not in their way …. etc …..

RULE NUMBER #2  don’t argue with the taxi driver to drive you to your destination! if he doesn’t want to he won’t! you will lose your war  (my friend Maria knows perfectly how it feels ….. )

RULE NUMBER #3  if you do not want to share the taxi you have to promptly inform the taxi driver – once you stepped in.

A main important habit to know is that it is common use in Greece to have taxi sharing – it doesn’t mean that you are going to pay less … it only means that the taxi will make more money out of the same run, secondly if you are not the first person reaching the destination … it will take even more time for you to go where you want to go …. . Therefore if you do not want to share your seat with anybody else you have to promptly inform  your taxi driver, otherwise there may be “stranger” in your taxi ………. that may even get his destination before you ….. I am telling you that because the first time I took a taxi in Greece I was in Rhodes and .. I was with my mother. It was quite late in the evening and we wanted to go to our hotel …. On our way to the hotel the taxi stop and somebody else jumped behind with us …. on the same taxi …. You cannot imagine the face of my mother … surprised and not “happy” about this new entry ….. and it was too late to complain either ….

RULE #4 better to know the street to your destinations or if you do not know the way have it written in Greek – so that he can read the destination in Greek and there won’t be any mistake

The first time I came to Athens for work I didn’t have the name of the street in Greek where the hotel was – I had it written in English and believe me or not I went to a wrong hotel …. and I had to take another taxi ….

RULE #5  unless  you know your way – don’t allow the taxi to leave you where he wants … he may tell you that your destination is round the corner but do not trust him ! It happened to me once …. here in Athens …. I had to prepare some documents and had to go to some offices …. I took the taxi since I had no clue about where it was … well in the middle of our way he told me that he had to leave …. but that my office was round the corner .. and it wasn’t !!

RULE #6  during your trip you have to be calm ……. try to stand if the taxi driver smells  …or the taxi smells  just open the window …..  if the music is too loud just try to like it … and if the taxi drivers talks … well… listen to it :)  you may have fun !

RULE #7 don’t be scared if they are running like a crazy and if despite the traffic jam is red and you passed …. they know their job ! still better to make a prayer ahahhah

My Friend Angela told me that they are even preparing a movie about Greek taxi drivers !! “A Taxi Odyssey” following the official  trailer

 

Have fun !!

Main Taxi numbers in Athens

Asteras 210 18288

Metropolitan 210 6616500

Enotita 210 6459000

2012 – NEWS! Taxibeat application – download this application to your smartphone and you can contact your taxi that will pick you up where you are ! you will see on the map all taxes available, where they are, you can see the name of the taxi driver, his tel number, you can choose the model of the car and the most important thing is that you can make comments on him ! This is a fantastic application a friend of mine suggested me that really changed my mood whenever I call for a taxi :)

Of course if you had a funny experience about taxing a taxi in Greece please leave your comments !! I love to read about funny experiences

Ciao !

φιλαkια

6 comments to ΤΑΞΙ in Greece !! “tarifa”

  • Matrox

    Taxi drivers: The yellow race, always at war with them…

  • Theodora

    Just one small correction ! Not all cubs are yellow . It depends on the region that you are i.e. in Thessaloniki the cubs are blue , in Trikala grey and so on…:)

  • Milena

    more tips:
    1. don’t be surprised when (even when you are running late and you informed taxi driver about it) taxi driver stops the car suddenly just to buy cigarettes or whatever he needs, remember he is the boss of this trip :)
    2. if you are a woman -> do not smile too much! It is very likely that you will be asked to drink a coffee with the lovely taxi driver (doesn’t matter that he is around 70 years old:)) If you refuse you can be even asked to leave the car and that means the end of the trip even if you are in the middle of your way:) (i guess Greek taxi drivers are just very sensitive, that’s why we (women) need to be very careful with them :))
    3. on the other hand Greek taxi drivers are sometimes great teachers of greek language! (but for your safety better learn on your own before taking a taxi: “στρίψτε αριστερά & στρίψτε δεξιά” and “παρακαλω” of course ;)

  • Name: Rny W.

    I have to add that I went with a cab 4 times yet and that in two cases the driver didn’t know the destination (even when it was in the very center of the city). But they are well organized and just call a colleague who has a better map of Athens. One guy however was not very familiar with his navigation device and spoke to it trying to find the Αθηνάς street … – gave up after 5 times. So you better bring your own gps-map; better be save than sorry!

    Another, young and very kind, taxi driver told me that he works 12 hours a day at 6 days a week – so these guys don’t have an easy job. We should be appreciative of their habits

    UPDATE

    3 cab-rides today. Not a single problem. All of them spoke English sufficiently and knew how to maneuver their car furiously but still with a maximum amount of vigilance through the dense traffic of Athens. Especially the last guy, a well dressed old man (I know, not very common in Greece), had a true gentleman’s smile and very good manners.

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