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Getting Deported from the Philippines

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Postby davewe » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:34 am

deasil875 wrote:
Perhaps I was a little harsh yes. However, I am not looking to stir up trouble at all. I am very keep to myself kind of person that avoids conflict whenever necessary. What disturbs me about the Philippines is I read a report by Winston a while back about a boat rental which the locals tried to scam him out of $$$ for damage he did not do. Now applying the pinoy logic that you can be deported for "raising your voice", it seems that you can get f***ed with for simply standing up for something you did not do and holding your ground. I guess as a foreigner the deck is badly stacked against you should you run into a problem that you didn't want to bring on yourself to begin with.


People do get deported from the Philippines and I suspect from just about any country that takes in tourists and immigrants, including the US. I don't know the exact figures in PI but suspect they are modest. My point was that if a tourist or expat misbehaves or gets into confrontations with the wrong crowd he has more to worry about than the authorities and deportation. Again I suspect this is true in most places.

The writer of the original article, Bob Martin, is a well known blogger on the PI, has lived there with his family for many years and loves the country and its people. He posed a question he has addressed before: is it better to buy/build property or rent in PI? This is one more consideration in the equation; that if you build or purchase a home and somehow get deported, you're out of luck. He certainly was not saying don't come to PI, you'll get deported.

There is certainly violence in PI, corrupt politicians, and rules and regulations that make no sense, at least to many foreigners. I'm not sure what country that statement is not true. But in general the people are kind and generous and open to foreigners.

As to being cheated, that also exists everywhere,including the West. There's a popular PI forum where guys constantly complain about cheating cabbies. Of course they never say that for every time they got cheated out of 100 pesos, they rode in a cab for dirt cheap by Western standards.

I've traveled a fair amount internationally. Somebody trying to worm a few extra dollars out of a foreigner in pretty standard everywhere. Knowing how to deal with it is part of learning to travel. Some do it better than others. There are ways to stand up for yourself without confrontation or risking deportation. And of course there are times when backing down is the wisest thing to do.
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Postby davewe » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:34 am

deasil875 wrote:
Perhaps I was a little harsh yes. However, I am not looking to stir up trouble at all. I am very keep to myself kind of person that avoids conflict whenever necessary. What disturbs me about the Philippines is I read a report by Winston a while back about a boat rental which the locals tried to scam him out of $$$ for damage he did not do. Now applying the pinoy logic that you can be deported for "raising your voice", it seems that you can get f***ed with for simply standing up for something you did not do and holding your ground. I guess as a foreigner the deck is badly stacked against you should you run into a problem that you didn't want to bring on yourself to begin with.


People do get deported from the Philippines and I suspect from just about any country that takes in tourists and immigrants, including the US. I don't know the exact figures in PI but suspect they are modest. My point was that if a tourist or expat misbehaves or gets into confrontations with the wrong crowd he has more to worry about than the authorities and deportation. Again I suspect this is true in most places.

The writer of the original article, Bob Martin, is a well known blogger on the PI, has lived there with his family for many years and loves the country and its people. He posed a question he has addressed before: is it better to buy/build property or rent in PI? This is one more consideration in the equation; that if you build or purchase a home and somehow get deported, you're out of luck. He certainly was not saying don't come to PI, you'll get deported.

There is certainly violence in PI, corrupt politicians, and rules and regulations that make no sense, at least to many foreigners. I'm not sure what country that statement is not true. But in general the people are kind and generous and open to foreigners.

As to being cheated, that also exists everywhere,including the West. There's a popular PI forum where guys constantly complain about cheating cabbies. Of course they never say that for every time they got cheated out of 100 pesos, they rode in a cab for dirt cheap by Western standards.

I've traveled a fair amount internationally. Somebody trying to worm a few extra dollars out of a foreigner in pretty standard everywhere. Knowing how to deal with it is part of learning to travel. Some do it better than others. There are ways to stand up for yourself without confrontation or risking deportation. And of course there are times when backing down is the wisest thing to do.
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Postby kai1275 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:19 pm

deasil875 wrote:
kai1275 wrote:You better read my guide first if you are going to China, if you are not aware of things like this.


Link?


http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18786

It's toward the top in the Asia sub forum too along with all the other guides and FAQs.
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Postby ladislav » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:53 pm

But in general the people are kind and generous and open to foreigners.


Don't know about the "generous" part. Filipinos are probably the least generous of all.

As to being cheated, that also exists everywhere,including the West.


I smell a logical fallacy called what? Not sure. But it generally goes like this:

-Johannesburg is a dangerous city.

-But every place is dangerous. There are many criminals in Tokyo Japan, too.

Fallacy: percentages, and frequencies of occurrence are way different. The same with cheating. Take taxi cabs in NY -- they will just use a meter in 99.999% of case with no tips expected. They will not overcharge because they are not allowed by law to do that. They'll be fired if they do.

Stop cab drivers in Manila and in 50-80% of cases they will ask for extra. Every day you will meet people who refuse to use the meter. Will you meet drivers who refuse to use the meter in New York or Tokyo? Maybe. One in a million? Once every ten years? Maybe never.

There's a popular PI forum where guys constantly complain about cheating cabbies. Of course they never say that for every time they got cheated out of 100 pesos, they rode in a cab for dirt cheap by Western standards.


That is not the point. US cabs are dirt cheap compared to London cabs or Tokyo cabs. Does that mean we are allowed to cheat British and Japanese tourists?

What if people are not travelers and are living locally on local economy or with small pensions?

've traveled a fair amount internationally. Somebody trying to worm a few extra dollars out of a foreigner in pretty standard everywhere.


Not standard in most Western countries, Japan, Singapore or any other countries where there's strict rule of law. It may happen sometimes but in Thailand, Phils, etc it happens with enormous frequency- every bloody day!
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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Postby davewe » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:26 pm

ladislav wrote:
've traveled a fair amount internationally. Somebody trying to worm a few extra dollars out of a foreigner in pretty standard everywhere.


Not standard in most Western countries, Japan, Singapore or any other countries where there's strict rule of law. It may happen sometimes but in Thailand, Phils, etc it happens with enormous frequency- every bloody day!


In my US town for a 15 minute cab ride from my home to the airport I pay about $30 and the cabbie is pissed if I don't give him at least a $5 tip. Am I being cheated - nope. It's strictly legal. As you say there are rules and regulations.

But if I am in Cebu and take a 30 minute cab ride from my hotel to the airport or a local mall and the total is the equivalent of $5 and the driver makes an excuse trying to worm an extra couple bucks out of me - well, it's annoying but still a deal. Sometimes I refuse; sometimes I pay the couple bucks but withhold a tip.

The first time I was in Kenya at the end of my 1st cab ride (30 minutes) I asked the cabbie "how much" and he said "whatever you wish, Sir." I said, "I have no idea what the price is. You must tell me." "Whatever you wish to pay, Sir," was his response. I gave him the equivalent of $6. I went into my hotel and asked the front desk what the going rate was. Turns out I should have paid him closer to $2. Was I cheated - maybe. Was it dirt cheap - yep. Did I take cabs the entire week to wherever I wanted to go - and paid next to nothing for the privilege - damn right I did.

I was recently in Chaing Mai, Thailand. Hired a cab to take us all over the city (4 hours). The guy quoted a price upfront - I agreed. After our 4 hour trip, he claimed he had quoted me double what I had heard. We argued a bit. In the end we split the difference - with no tip. Was I cheated? I suppose. But I still ended up paying about what I would have paid for my 15 minute ride from my US home to the airport.

It's all relative I suppose. The fact that Western nations have rules and regulations does not mean you are not being cheated. More likely it means the "cheating" is institutionalized. I live in the NW, home of Microsoft. Certainly when you go to Best Buy and buy a copy of Windows you're not being cheated? You know the price. The fact that Bill Gates has $67 billion, Steve Ballmer has $15 billion, and Paul Allen has $15 billion, doesn't mean you were cheated. Or does it? Personally I'd rather deal with the cabbie.

I just had my plumber do some work in my home. A good company with a good rep locally; I've used them before. For the $$ I paid for the 1.5 hours he worked I could ride cabs for a month in Cebu or Chaing Mai. Was I cheated? Nope - I knew the price. But for me I'd rather debate with the cabbie, even if in the end I pay him a couple extra bucks.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying you should accept being cheated. I'm just giving a different perspective. Someone is always making money off you, wherever in the world you are. For me it's still how much value I can get for how little money.
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Postby Repatriate » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:58 pm

Davewe, the problem here is you're comparing cost of living in the U.S. with overseas and using that as a benchmark when it comes to value. If you're paying U.S. prices overseas for a cab ride or even a little less in Thailand you are still getting cheated all the same. It's not a "good" deal no matter how you justify it in your head. You should only pay what is normal for that country because its according to their cost of living.

That's the problem, a lot of tourists travel abroad and think they are rich while on vacation. They end up throwing money at the locals paying absurd rip off prices for everything because it seems "cheap" compared to wherever they are from. Instead of gratitude from locals all that creates is more of a rip off everything goes atmosphere. When you think you are being "generous" in reality they are just thinking what a fool you are and how they can take advantage of you further.
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Postby davewe » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:29 pm

Repatriate wrote:Davewe, the problem here is you're comparing cost of living in the U.S. with overseas and using that as a benchmark when it comes to value. If you're paying U.S. prices overseas for a cab ride or even a little less in Thailand you are still getting cheated all the same. It's not a "good" deal no matter how you justify it in your head. You should only pay what is normal for that country because its according to their cost of living.

That's the problem, a lot of tourists travel abroad and think they are rich while on vacation. They end up throwing money at the locals paying absurd rip off prices for everything because it seems "cheap" compared to wherever they are from. Instead of gratitude from locals all that creates is more of a rip off everything goes atmosphere. When you think you are being "generous" in reality they are just thinking what a fool you are and how they can take advantage of you further.


I agree totally but...my point is more cynical than I usually might come off. We are getting taken no matter where we are. The plumber in your home country who charges $100 an hour because it is legal and he can get away with it. The lawyer who overbills thousands of dollars. The 2008 financial crash which we are all still paying for in taxes, mortgages, etc. Those people are laughing all the way to the bank too. I am not saying we should accept it, I am just disputing the notion that it happens in Asian but not in the West. As I said, in the West, cheating and graft are built into the system.

On that same PI forum I referenced before there was a long thread started by an expat who complained that he had been ripped off at the market for 100 pesos (about $2.50). Person after person (maybe 100 replies) talked about the buck or two they had overpaid at the market or in a cab. They were not talking about being ripped off for thousands of dollars or even thousands of pesos. To me it's pathetic.

Maybe it's because I grew up in Philly and NYC and was used to the fact that in those cities rip offs and thievery are common. It's buyer beware and it's ultimately my responsibility to protect myself, make the best deal I can make, or sometimes to choose to pay a few extra bucks to stay safe. Better yet, set up your life and living situation so that you are less likely to get taken. And if it still happens don't go postal - you could get deported :)
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Postby Hero » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:09 pm

ladislav wrote:
But in general the people are kind and generous and open to foreigners.


Don't know about the "generous" part. Filipinos are probably the least generous of all.



The women are generous with the kisses. That's all that matters :D
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:51 pm

davewe wrote:I agree totally but...my point is more cynical than I usually might come off. We are getting taken no matter where we are. The plumber in your home country who charges $100 an hour because it is legal and he can get away with it. The lawyer who overbills thousands of dollars.

But these things are a function of supply and demand. When you live in a society that pays higher wages and has higher cost of living then services will be priced accordingly. In the U.S. anything that involves service or labor is expensive because the human skill and service is more valuable.
The 2008 financial crash which we are all still paying for in taxes, mortgages, etc. Those people are laughing all the way to the bank too. I am not saying we should accept it, I am just disputing the notion that it happens in Asian but not in the West. As I said, in the West, cheating and graft are built into the system.

You are absolutely right and one of the most criminal attributes of the U.S. is the tax system. It's designed to cheat the middle class out of hard earned money to fund bad foreign policies and various forms of corporate graft that we are not privy to. With that being said the system is not fair but it's still far better than the barely functioning leaking sieve that makes up the governments in SE Asia. You don't know real injustice until a big family name or oligarch robs your property and murders your family just because they can. This sort of stuff happens in places like Thailand and i'm sure it happens in the Philippines too. The U.S. government may be getting their pound of flesh but the scales of injustice and corruption as it effects the individual is still far less than what you find in the developing world. It's still not remotely comparable.

On that same PI forum I referenced before there was a long thread started by an expat who complained that he had been ripped off at the market for 100 pesos (about $2.50). Person after person (maybe 100 replies) talked about the buck or two they had overpaid at the market or in a cab. They were not talking about being ripped off for thousands of dollars or even thousands of pesos. To me it's pathetic.

The dollar value is irrelevant it's the principle. If you allow a leak in the dike, it eventually turns into a stream and then a flood. Allowing locals to rip you off in countries like this is unwise since they will just see foreigners as an easy mark to be further exploited at every opportunity and for even greater gains.
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Postby Rock » Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:14 pm

Repatriate wrote:The dollar value is irrelevant it's the principle. If you allow a leak in the dike, it eventually turns into a stream and then a flood. Allowing locals to rip you off in countries like this is unwise since they will just see foreigners as an easy mark to be further exploited at every opportunity and for even greater gains.


You know, the NT$ and Thai Baht have almost equal value at current exchange rates against other currencies. They both are close to 30:1 vs. US$.

Flag fall for cabs in Taipei is 70 NT$ vs. 35 Baht in Bangkok and meter moves faster in Taipei per km than in Bangkok. So taking a cab in Taipei may be around twice as much for the same ride in Bangkok. In spite of that, I prefer taking a cab in Taipei cus there is zero hassle. Drivers are safe, professional and cars are usually clean and modern. When u arrive, you always get exact change, not tips ever expected. But in Bangkok, it really depends. Some drivers don't wanna use the meter depending on various conditions. Some hang out in certain tourist spots and try to grossly overcharge by offering a ridiculous flat rate. Some refuse to take you where you are going. Once in awhile, the driver might even act loutish and some of the cars are still kinda bad condition. When you give them a bill to pay, they sometimes are hesitant to give change or at least expect some kind of tip. Now to be fair, I think they've improved a lot over the years. But they are still a big pain in the ass compared to Taipei.

Now step down another rung and you get Manila cabs. They have similar rates to Bangkok (flag fall 40 Pesos) but they very frequently don't wanna use the meter or go where you want. It's always, "so much traffic'. Well that's just the reality in Metro Manila. There's bloody bad traffic almost all the time until late night or early morning hours or Sundays. And even the ones who use meters for easy short rides are often disappointed when you don't tip them. They may say something sarcastic or just give you a cold stare. Many cabs at airport start to move then when you say meter, they say no sir 400 pesos or some other rip-off price. So you have to get out and start all over.

Davewe, if you are used to haggling all the time, then you might not mind this. But it's just a major pain in the ass to me. It's not about the dollar amounts but about the everyday stress levels you are subjected to. If you are not on your toes, you get taken for a sucker. To give you an extreme example, imagine spending time in Lagos Nigeria. Sometimes it's much better just to pay a premium to avoid the hassles, bad service, danger, etc. Of course, the other extreme - say Oslo Norway or Tokyo Japan are no good either cus the 'service premium' you pay in such places is exorbitant.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:32 pm

Rock wrote:Davewe, if you are used to haggling all the time, then you might not mind this. But it's just a major pain in the a** to me. It's not about the dollar amounts but about the everyday stress levels you are subjected to. If you are not on your toes, you get taken for a sucker. To give you an extreme example, imagine spending time in Lagos Nigeria. Sometimes it's much better just to pay a premium to avoid the hassles, bad service, danger, etc. Of course, the other extreme - say Oslo Norway or Tokyo Japan are no good either cus the 'service premium' you pay in such places is exorbitant.


Phuket is a pretty good example of what happens when a permissive lawless local government and large numbers of foolish European/Asian tourists allows the fleecing environment to get out of control. The Tuk Tuks there are outrageously priced. A trip down a street costs 300-400 baht when in Bangkok it would cost maybe 25-30 baht local price.

Nearly all the jet-ski rental places are running some kind of scam where if you don't pay for "damages" you'll get threatened by a bunch of Thai thugs who will make good on their threats. Phuket law enforcement colludes with the local gangs/mafia groups to rip off tourists and look the other way when even more shady things like robbery, burglary, or even organized hits go down.

Property scams, money laundering, etc.. is out of control there too. Bangkok's corruption bureau (which is laughable) has no reach into Phuket. The local government is running its own fiefdom.
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Postby Falcon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:38 pm

Rock wrote:Flag fall for cabs in Taipei is 70 NT$ vs. 35 Baht in Bangkok and meter moves faster in Taipei per km than in Bangkok. So taking a cab in Taipei may be around twice as much for the same ride in Bangkok. In spite of that, I prefer taking a cab in Taipei cus there is zero hassle. Drivers are safe, professional and cars are usually clean and modern. When u arrive, you always get exact change, not tips ever expected. But in Bangkok, it really depends. Some drivers don't wanna use the meter depending on various conditions. Some hang out in certain tourist spots and try to grossly overcharge by offering a ridiculous flat rate. Some refuse to take you where you are going. Once in awhile, the driver might even act loutish and some of the cars are still kinda bad condition. When you give them a bill to pay, they sometimes are hesitant to give change or at least expect some kind of tip. Now to be fair, I think they've improved a lot over the years. But they are still a big pain in the a** compared to Taipei.


You know, that has never happened whenever I'm with my Isaan gf. The drivers (who are mostly from Isaan too) don't even dare take detours when she's in there. When I take taxis by myself, they don't try to charge flat rates or not go where I'm going, but they may sometimes take detours. For example, I've noticed that once when she was with me in the taxi, the fare was 45 baht, while the last time I went by myself the taxi fare came out to 70 baht (OK that's $1.50 vs. $2.33, but you get the idea).

But when Xiongmao (who's white) and I flagged down taxis near Sukhumvit, they all refused to use meters and would only charge flat rates. The less Thai you speak and the more foreign you appear, the more you'll get ripped off.

My grandparents have also complained about taxi drivers in Taipei taking detours, so this happens to locals as well.

As a note, most Bangkok taxi drivers come from Isaan. I've heard Roi Et, Yasothon, Sisaket, Nakhon Phanom, and other northeastern provinces. Most of the taxis are actually new-model Toyota Corollas (often the Altis ones) and in great condition. Some drivers are super warm and friendly, while others are quite cranky and irritated.
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Postby Rock » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:12 pm

Falcon wrote:
Rock wrote:Flag fall for cabs in Taipei is 70 NT$ vs. 35 Baht in Bangkok and meter moves faster in Taipei per km than in Bangkok. So taking a cab in Taipei may be around twice as much for the same ride in Bangkok. In spite of that, I prefer taking a cab in Taipei cus there is zero hassle. Drivers are safe, professional and cars are usually clean and modern. When u arrive, you always get exact change, not tips ever expected. But in Bangkok, it really depends. Some drivers don't wanna use the meter depending on various conditions. Some hang out in certain tourist spots and try to grossly overcharge by offering a ridiculous flat rate. Some refuse to take you where you are going. Once in awhile, the driver might even act loutish and some of the cars are still kinda bad condition. When you give them a bill to pay, they sometimes are hesitant to give change or at least expect some kind of tip. Now to be fair, I think they've improved a lot over the years. But they are still a big pain in the a** compared to Taipei.


You know, that has never happened whenever I'm with my Isaan gf. The drivers don't even dare take detours when she's in there. When I take taxis by myself, they don't try to charge flat rates or not go where I'm going, but they may sometimes take detours. For example, I've noticed that once when she was with me in the taxi, the fare was 45 baht, while the last time I went by myself the taxi fare came out to 70 baht.

But when Xiongmao (who's white) and I flagged down taxis near Sukhumvit, they all refused to use meters and would only charge flat rates. The less Thai you speak and the more foreign you appear, the more you'll get ripped off.

My grandparents have also complained about taxi drivers in Taipei taking detours, so this happens to locals as well.

As a note, most Bangkok taxi drivers come from Isaan. I've heard Roi Et, Yasothon, Sisaket, Nakhon Phanom, and other northeastern provinces. Most of the taxis are actually new-model Toyota Corollas (often the Altis ones) and in great condition. Some drivers are super warm and friendly, while some are quite cranky and irritated.


Falcon, let me give u a bit of perspective on this.

1. Yea, my ex would complain too sometimes. But at the end of the ride, it would make like a 5NT$ difference. Taiwanese passengers can be very nit picky and anal about this stuff. But at the end of the day, not every driver knows the very quickest or shortest way, even if they are a Taipei City driver. Usually, if there are alternatives, they will ask me which way I prefer. I used to take a taxi to work everyday and often home at night. I've easily taken well over 1,000 Taipei cab rides. I've never had one try to rip me off on meter or refuse meter. A few times, the guy would get lost or not know way, esp. if he was from Taipei County or Keelung. When that has happened, they would take off 20 or 30 NT$ from meter.

2. A few years ago, a Thai girl left my place (she was a curtain designer at Home Pro) from central Bangkok at night and took one of those nice new mini van sized cabs. The driver stopped in a quite area on outskirts of town somewhere, got in back, beat her and tried his damndest to rape her. She managed to get out and run but was bruised and cut up and her clothes and bag were ripped. Anecdotal? Yes. But some of those Issan drivers are f***ing animals. A couple of my Taiwan female friends have had problems with them too. One was scared enough to get out of cab and run. Sometimes these idiots don't know the place and just drive randomly for awhile, lol. As I mentioned, its getting noticeably better. As standard of living improves, this kinda stuff happens less frequently. But if you go up to Issan and carefully observe, you're gonna see some things that are messed-up. Guys lying around drunk all day and fighting at night. People who drive motorcycles and speed through intersections without looking. And lots of silly fighting. Oh, and you know, sometimes I do get a Chinese cab driver. They do exist. Last time I cabbed it up from Pattaya (to meet Xiongmao first time), my cabbie was Chinese too. Some of them even speak Mandarin. I get these every once in awhile. Also, keep in mind, you don't have that many datapoints to go by yet. You've probably taken no more than a dozen or so cab rides in Thailand.

3. Decades ago, Taipei used to be a lot poorer. I bet back then, cabbies here were a lot worse too. But I wonder if they were ever as bad as Phillies or even Thai back in the day. Were your grandparents complaining about recent rides or rides from previous decades?

4. One more thing about Bangkok cabbies. If you jump in one along the street during day, they almost always use meter, no questions asked. But the ones who just park in front of Patpong sois are sitting there cus they want an inflated fare. Usually, if you just go out in street and hail one who's passing by, you can get meter. As for Suk, I've not had problems there but perhaps it's cus I usually leave after midnight when traffic is good.
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Postby Falcon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:59 pm

But if you go up to Issan and carefully observe, you're gonna see some things that are messed-up. Guys lying around drunk all day and fighting at night. People who drive motorcycles and speed through intersections without looking. And lots of silly fighting. Oh, and you know, sometimes I do get a Chinese cab driver. They do exist. Last time I cabbed it up from Pattaya (to meet Xiongmao first time), my cabbie was Chinese too. Some of them even speak Mandarin. I get these every once in awhile. Also, keep in mind, you don't have that many datapoints to go by yet. You've probably taken no more than a dozen or so cab rides in Thailand.


- I often see drunk country bumpkins binging on big bottles of Leo and Chang in front of Bangkok 7-Elevens.
- My Isaan girl got into a motorcycle accident when she was a teenager. She showed me some of her scars, which were pretty bad.
- The Isaan taxi drivers talk about women and prostitutes just like the Mexican taxi drivers do. The taxi drivers in China usually completely avoid such topics though.


3. Decades ago, Taipei used to be a lot poorer. I bet back then, cabbies here were a lot worse too. But I wonder if they were ever as bad as Phillies or even Thai back in the day. Were your grandparents complaining about recent rides or rides from previous decades?


Recent rides. My grandmother and aunt were going to a hospital in Taipei, and according to them, the driver kept going around and around and around.
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