A yellow taxi drives by.

When reading about Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, from a travel point of view, taxis will always come up. It’s a fact.

“Beware!”, “Be afraid!”, “Scammy as hell!”, “Crooks!”. Almost like back home, at the airport, in the 90’s! I grew up with these cabbies!

We took a taxi yesterday morning, for a short ride. Meter turned on as soon as I requested it. He had asked for 300. Turned out to be an 80 lira ride. Good.

Later in the day we took another one, meter was on as soon as we stepped in, we paid the fare at the end. Good.

Civilized after all, I thought. Yeah… Sure.

Today we needed one, as it was raining, and we were in no mood to have tinyMovieStar wet.

We got in. The gentleman was smoking. Windows were closed. I asked him to extinguish the cigarette, as a child was now sitting on the back seat. He agreed, but didn’t do it. I told him where we were going. It was the same place as the day before, the 80 lira ride. He asked for 600. I did my best “Are you fucking crazy look”, and said he should turn on the meter. He growled, said no, and puffed on the cigarette. Nice.

We stepped out while he did all that. Girls took cover, I remained in the street, trying to flag another one.

He came after a couple of minutes. I told him where we were headed, and that we wanted a metered ride. He agreed. We got in.

A minute later I noticed the meter was somehow on, but not correctly so. It was not counting up as usual, the cost was hidden.

I told movieStar to be ready, they should step out as soon as we arrived. Things could get ugly.

It took us a bit longer, traffic was hectic (surprisingly). I had a 200 note ready. I knew it was a bit more than yesterday, it did take us a little longer to get there.

When we arrived at our destination, he checked the meter, and said, with a straight face: “800”. I almost laughed. Instead I just gave him the 200. He asked again, said “traffic”.

I looked back, this time with my “you really don’t want to do get into this with me, it will not end well” face. I stepped out, girls waiting for me on the sidewalk already.

He decided it was best to go, and slowly drove away, looking at me, menacingly. But he did drive away.

This is the one thing I get tired of, easily, here. This “let me see how much money I can squeeze out of this sucker tourist” mentality.

It. Is. Exhausting πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡·