Istanbul and the Taxi Driver .......
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 7 of 12 › view all entries
I don't want to scare you, but I'm going to tell you like it is. Before I get into the "heist" I'll tell you about getting here from
Athens. Flying from Athens to Istanbul
was a real treat on Olympic Airways and as usual were treated with the upmost amenable service, smiles, kindness
great little meal (on only an hour flight) and we just shook our heads. What? Do you have to travel
half way across the world to get this kind of service? Well, we're airline people, and sad to say, I'm afraid it is
Arriving in Istanbul, we did the budget thing and inquired on the free internet (in the airport) downstairs
from customs, and found our hotel.
hotel and asked some questions and found our metro. It was great at first then became packed like
a tin of sardines you have no idea. I mean - pickpocketer's dream. We held on to our stuff for dear life.
Left metro at our correct stop (we thought) everything intact, no one touched our stuff. But then we
got a taxi. Not the best thing. He did not give me a price when I asked. That should have been the first clue.
Then, we got in anyway, and he took us all around the city and charged us beau coup amount. (It was only
3 kilometers from the hotel, but I was tired and think I didn't tell him that.) He let us out near the hotel (he said)
and that it was "right up the street".
He lets us out in the middle of the street....says he'll change Richard's 100, and that our taxi ride was 25 lira which is
about $15 ...but he snapped the 100 from Rich, David saw him put it in side pocket lightening fast, then told
rich another 25, and he gave him a 20, but somewhere in there another 20 got out of Rich's hands.....David and I
just looked at each other like WHAT IS GOING ON? ...and then we refused to budge until he gave Rich his
100 back, because all this was happening so fast.....but we KNEW 100 Lira was missing! David didn't budge
I didn't budge, taxi driver is yelling at us, and I'm just about to say, "WE CALL POLICE UNTIL THIS IS RESOLVED"
but didn't have to because he finally gives Rich back his 100 LIRA BILL.
in there somewhere.........) Then the driver doesn't move to open the trunk....he sits there..... David is in front
and turns to me and says, ....go to the trunk, I'm staying here......so I see that the guy hasn't popped the
trunk and is probably going to speed off with all our stuff (HEAVEN forbid!)...so get out...
then, and ONLY then, when David doesn't budge, does the guy finally get out of the taxi to
open the trunk......It was not a pleasant experience, and then we walked FOREVER to find
this hotel, which was suppose to be right "down the street". It wasn't. It was far. When
We got to the hotel, they wanted to take our bags and hold them, but I wasn't about to
let go of these bags after almost losing them, and then explained to the staff why and they just
shook their heads.
been only 30 lira (less than 21 USD)......that taxi driver got 25 plus another 20 he stole from
Richard. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
WATCH YOUR TAXI DRIVER - DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED - HAVE SMALL CHANGE WHEN YOU
GET IN - MAKE HIM TAKE YOU TO THE HOTEL - TO THE DOOR! NOT across the square, not aross the street, to THE DOOR! - DO NOT GET OUT OF THE TAXI UNTIL THE TRUNK IS OPEN.............ALWAYS ALWAYS BE VIGILENT AND WATCH YOUR BACK. Might not be a bad idea to snap a pic of license tag before you get in the cab, & the driver. ALL THAT SAID, we have fallen in love with this city, have cancelled plans for Paris and are just staying here 2 more days. It's magical. You have unscrupulous people everywhere. Don't let it spoil your trip!
You may not hear from me for awhile. If internet access is difficult in ATHENS, I can imagine it's going to be a slow go toward Turkey. We are leaving Athens at 8PM tomorrow night and overnight train to Thessoloniki, wait for 2 hours to clear, then on to ISTANBUL. I will try and update as soon as I have find internet access.The train is a great deal. We leave from the Larissa Station and it's 50 euros FIRST CLASS, which, since we are using it as a hotel is a good idea. Plus, not sure what we're getting with that 2nd class, if you know what I mean. And I don't mean to sound snobbish.
SO! That's all I can say so far..........stay tune for updates !!
UPDATE: Train left early, plus it was twice as much as was published. Just as well. We FLEW instead to Istanbul on Thursday
August 20th. It's now the 21st. .... Ramadan. Not sure this was the best time to come, but we're here anyway and enjoying it.
Hope we get out!