South Africa--Some taxi drivers here in my community of Acornhoek can be so down rude and possessive. They always think it’s got to be their way or no way at all. They have no respect for their passengers what so ever. It is this kind of behaviour that sometimes drives people to hitchhike. Take today for instance. I made an appointment for 11:30 a.m. to see my doctor who is based in Hoedspruit. I took the first taxi to my town, which is about 2.5km away. It was about 10 a.m. when I arrived at Acornhoek Plaza, and since it only takes 30 minutes to get to Hoedspruit, I had an extra hour on my hands. Or so I thought.
I was supposed to take another taxi to Hoedspruit immediately but soon the waiting turned into a nightmare. An hour soon passed. There were only three passengers in the taxi including me. The driver kept telling to us that the car would soon leave. But he was just making fools of us as always because he wanted to wait until the taxi got full. But that could have taken the whole day because many people don’t really travel to Hoedspruit during this time of the month. The ones that do travel don’t take taxis anymore because they are sick and tired of the drivers’ attitudes. They prefer to hitchhike instead, which can be a very dangerous thing to do considering many people in South Africa disappear due to hitchhiking. If the taxi drivers knew how to treat people, we wouldn’t be forced to put our lives in danger. I was now running late for my doctor’s appointment.
At that point the dangers of hitchhiking didn’t cross my mind. All I could think about was how late I was running for the appointment. Feeling frustrated, I quickly tried to get out of the taxi, but the driver blocked the door. He told me that I had to pay the amount it cost to get to my destination, or else I couldn’t leave. This sounded very ridiculous to me. I tried to explain my situation to him, but he didn’t want to let me off of his taxi.
Eventually, the driver let me get off at 10:55 a.m. I quickly joined a group of people who were also there to hitchhike to Hoedspruit. I found that some of the taxi drivers had decided to park all over the road so the cars couldn’t pick us up. Apparently that is their route and no one is allowed to ‘steal their customers.’ We went ahead and tried to hitchhike anyway but no car dared to give us a ride because they were too afraid of the possibility of getting beaten up, or even worse, getting killed.
By this time my blood was boiling, and I had a terrible headache. I decided to just move far away from my first hitchhiking spot to another. The drivers noticed that I was moving forward and one of them asked me where the hell I was going. I just ignored him and kept walking. I heard him swear at me. I became so angry I, felt like giving him a piece of my mind. But for the sake of peace I managed to contain my dirty thoughts to myself.
It took me about fifteen minutes to get to another hitchhiking spot and luckily enough I was able to quickly get a ride. The car was driving very fast, but I wasn’t complaining. I finally arrived at my destination, and I was late for my doctor’s appointment by twenty minutes. This was really a pain in the neck because I ended up having to wait until all of the people who made their appointments after me had finished. All thinks to those stupid taxi drivers. Eaish!