This isn’t going to be a usual post, just a brief warning for those of you traveling or living in Cairo. The city has recently introduced new white cabs, a far better upgrade than the black and whites that leave you with a feeling, “Am I going to make it to my destination? Will I live?” And when they first came out, the drivers were amazing. Of course, it was only bound to happen that the bad apples would get their hands on the new automobiles before long.
So here’s a warning to all of you: the white cab meters have two settings. One is the standard 2.50LE per kilometer, another that you wouldn’t notice charges 3LE per kilometer. While it might not seem like that great of an increase, the correct price can increase by as much as three times. This is price gauging and it is illegal and wrong.
One way to notice is to look at the meter and check the little running dog. The correct setting has the dog running at a normal pace, the high setting naturally has the dog running as though in a life/death situation. Say something immediately to the cab driver. Also ask your friends how much the ride is supposed to cost. You can point to the meter and say, “Mane fesh” (not working). Usually, they will turn it off because they know they’re in the wrong. If not, threaten to get out and do not pay whatsoever. If late at night and you don’t feel like getting another cab, feel free to get out and give them the price that you know it really is. Take out your phone and pretend (or actually do it) to call the police – pronounced boleese. They will be more scared because they know they’re in the wrong and would prefer the police to stay out of it.
That being said, for those of you that live in Maadi – I just met a phenomenal black/white cab driver who speaks really good English, attends university and is fair with his prices. If you would like his contact information, just send me an email.
I know that most cab drivers are poor and I don’t mind paying for services, but what I do mind is being tricked into giving more money. If you do a job well done, then you should be rewarded – not just because you think I’m foreign and I owe you a thing or two for absolutely no work (hence why I’m adamantly against most instances that require backsheesh).