Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ways to Avoid Being Ripped Off from a Taxi Driver in Baku if You Are Foreign

Let's face it, if you a foreigner traveling abroad, or you just look foreign, sometimes you get screwed over when it comes to something like paying for a taxi fare. Being a college student and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, you do what you have to not end up homeless. And sometimes locals equate foreigners with dollar (or Manat) signs. Here is a list of helpful advice, and the ones with the asterik I have already tried, and succeeded. 
  How to Not Get Cheated Out of Your Taxi Ride:

1. Take the Metro or Bus instead. It's way, way cheaper. So what if the handle bars are greasy, or someone asks you to hold their child? Deal with it. *everyday

2. Learn your numbers in Azerbaijani. Also, learn how to say "How much..?" Also, learn how to negotiate. BEFORE you get it the car. Act like you have no interest in their pricing, and then they eventually give in. Sometimes. *

3. Fake-cry your way out of paying way too much. Nothing is more uncomfortable and obnoxious than a foreign, crazy girl (or guy even) who is crying in your taxi. They will not want to deal with you. *

4. Yell at them in Russian. They might pretend to not understand. But they do. *

5. Get your cellphone out and tell them that you are calling the U.S. Embassy. I am pretty sure they would not like this. Don't actually call them.

6. Wear your hair kind of fancy and that skirt that makes you look like a hooker. Can't say if this will work for a guy, or if you are just an ugly motha, then, well, let's be serious.....skip this one...

7. Take someone with you who is a native Azerbaijani. *

8. Take another foreigner with you. Nothing is better than 2 or more dumb foreigners in the taxi. The driver will think he has hit jackpot. If he tries to screw everyone over, just have everyone start crying.

9. If the driver guy finds out your American, and wants to express all of his political opinions about America, agree with whatever he says. Bush or Obama? Yes. It doesn't matter if he is wrong. He will be nice to you. *

10. Start your own taxi service.