Is it wrong to tell a taxi driver where to go?

Taxis.  Convenient transport?  Or long, expensive sometimes-necessities?

How do you catch taxis?  Do you get in, give your destination, sit back and hope for the best?

Or do you like to give a blow-by-blow account to the driver of the route to take?  Turn here, left at the second street, skip the tunnel there’s too much traffic this time of day, turn in after that van with the giant blue jellyfish on the roof?

For all of my 39 years I have been the former type.  I get in quietly, give the address I wish to travel to, sit back for a nice chat with the driver (who sometimes wishes I would shut up!), marvel at the streets that I had no idea led to my destination and groan on the inside as the meter ticks up and up and UP!!

My last few taxi rides have convinced me that this is not the way!!  I’ve recently paid $40 for a $28 trip, been taken the scenic route in peak hour and had the last driver tell me he didn’t know where to go and could I direct him.

So I’ve become a director.  I am now the turn here, turn there type of passenger!  No more will I be at the mercy of cunning taxi drivers!

But.  There’s a problem with this plan.

I’m not really that good with directions!

Even when I’ve driven a route 500 times, I still don’t normally know the name of the streets I turn down.  And if any part of the route looks remotely the same, I only know which way to go if I’m the driver!!!  Oh dear.

I regularly travel the backstreets with others, but I could no more direct someone down these same streets than fly to the moon!!

I can’t tell north from south unless I can see the sun and know what time of the day it is!

When I come out of a store in a shopping centre or in a mall I always turn left.  No matter which direction I entered from.  And if I cross sides to go into an interesting shopfront, I’ll have no idea which way to go when I come out!   I have issues people!

So I’m wanting to know if I’m the only one?  Does everyone else have to be at the mercy of their taxi driver?  Do others have to hope for the best and hand over whatever cash is demanded at the end?  Is it wrong to tell a taxi driver where to go if you don’t really know yourself?

I need to know because we are about to go on our life changing year adventure.  We are going to sell our cars and be at the mercy of taxis and public transport and all in a strange country, sometimes in another language.  If my recent trip on a tram in Victoria is anything to go by, we are in BIG TROUBLE!!!!!!

Please feel free to leave all of your public transport secrets and taxi travel trips in the comments.   I’m sure we have a lot to learn!

Image: Stuart Miles /

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Is it wrong to tell a taxi driver where to go? — 7 Comments

  1. simple my dear.

    Get yourself MAPS of each place you intend to spend time in. Mark your hotel and your destinations. LIkewise you want maps of the train lines. DO NOT assume that its close enough to walk to just cause it looks like a block or two on the map. Most tourist maps are NOT to scale. If you want to scale maps buy them before you go from a proper map store.

    • Maps? Maps? What are these creatures you speak of? lol. I’m very guilty of underestimating the time to get from place to place and then exclaiming ‘but it was only this far (holds up fingers!) on the map!!!!!

  2. That’s a tough issue to deal with – that whole not being so good with directions and driving routes. Turns out, I have the same issue! I do remember some though, the important, between life and death ones, I guess. One thing that I do though is I search through Google Maps first. They usually have directions there, and that kinda helps because most of the time, the shortest route is indicated. When I ride the taxi, I then tell the driver that I want to go to this place using this route. I don’t direct him road by road though since I figure that that might annoy the driver. Instead, I just tell him that I want to reach my destination through this road and that. I just tell him the key roads. He’ll figure out what I’m referring to, I’m assuming. Lol.
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    • Well I’m prepared to give it a try. Yes Mr Indian taxi driver, I come here all the time. Please take the short route!!! Might give the game away when it takes me 10 minutes to work out which money to hand over. lol !!!!

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