Leave Turkey for home, a bad taxi driver!

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Fellow photography Jill and I took a taxi from the hotel to the airport together, since we had the same flight to London.

We got on the taxi, made sure he started the meter. However, a little while later, I noticed that he wasn't taking the direct route over the Ataturk Bridge to the airport, instead, he turned off and went on some other route. I told him he was going the wrong way, and he claimed that there would be traffic so he was going this better way. He took us on a highway, roundabout for at least half an hour before finally getting to the airport. The meter read 72 Turkish Liras. I knew it should have cost less than 40 because we had taken a taxi to the restaurant a couple of weeks ago which was further than the airport, and that ride took more than one hour in traffic. So I wasn't about to pay him that much. I told Jill we just each give him a 20, after insisting on getting our luggage out of the trunk. I tried to call attention to the police at the airport, but it was a traffic police, not a tourist police, so I said let's just go inside the airport, he couldn't do anything! So we paid the 40 which should have been a more than fair price, told him he tried to overcharge us by going the long way and went inside the airport. He was screaming and yelling behind us. We went through security, and after that, some of the people at the security called out to us, saying this man wanted us to go back! We weren't going back! So we yelled we paid him and kept going. Lo and behold, a few minutes later, the taxi driver had incredibly came through security and was still trying to get money from us! He caught up to us and said to me "Give me a million" or something which sounded like it! "What!?" I said. He then said "You paid me 40 million, give me another 10 million" or something to that effect. Hmm, I was surprised that he followed us into the airport to ask for the money and wasn't sure we could get rid of him now. So I gave him another 10 lira, and he left! I sure hope he gets a lashing from his boss for driving the extra miles and that his car would be scratched or bumped while he was in here pestering us!

Damn, what a send-off impression for us to have of Turkey!

We were the first in line at the BA counter for checkin and we boarded our plane without further excitement. At the stop-over in London, Jill was going on to Amsterdam, while I to San Francisco. She had membership which allowed us to go and wait in the BA lounge, which had nice sofas, lots of room, free internet and lots of free food and drinks too. So we passed the waiting in the pleasant lounge and said goodbye a couple of hours later.

Almost 10 hours later, I arrived at San Francisco and was very happy to be picked up by Kevin for a ride home. My dogs gave me a most welcome licking when I stepped in the door! Whew! Good to be home again.
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photo by: Memo