Thursday, 02 April 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
Being a cabbie feels like the worst job in the world sometimes. Rubbish weather, more roadworks, cautious drivers in the wrong lane signalling left when they actually go right, Saturday night ‘hilarity’… but trust us, life as a taxi driver in the UK isn’t so bad. And to show you what we mean, we’ve rounded up some of the ways other drivers get about. You might feel a bit better after reading about this lot…
Sure, being stuck in a city traffic jam is a nightmare. The passengers are getting frustrated and so are you. But imagine doing it on a bike. With overweight tourists on the front. And no roof. Welcome to the world of the Vietnamese cyclo. At least they keep you fit… if they don’t kill you first.
Chicago Water Taxi, Chicago
A good way to make your day’s work worse is having to do it on water. Imagine dealing with sea sickness, the never-ending torrent of tourists, toys and false teeth going overboard and the risk of having to go down with your ship. What if it springs a leek? Have you seen Titanic?!? And let’s be honest, no one wants to have to dive into a river for a fare.
Honestly, we’d take an hour stuck behind a milk float on the M5 any day.
The UK’s streets aren’t without risk, but they’d be a sight more dangerous on a tuk-tuk. Thailand sees 12,000 road deaths a year – and 74% of them are tuk-tuk and motorbike drivers and passengers. Drivers all over Asia risk life and limb on these mad things and much as we like to get about, we don’t quite think it would be worth the bother. The average British cab is like a tank in comparison.
Nice seats though.
Coco taxi, Cuba
Cuba is already well-known for its stunning 50s cars, but did you know they also have a bunch of cabs shaped like coconuts? You do now. They’re pretty noisy beasts, but they are cheaper than normal taxis plus they’re way more fun (or so it looks like to us).
Can’t say it’s so good for the drivers though. Not much protection from the elements, and in Cuba’s heat your face would look like a Victorian saddle after two hours. They’re not the most robust thing either. Imagine meeting a rusting, speeding 1957 Chevrolet head-on in that. A coconut. Filled with fuel.
Think we’ll walk…
Beer bikes, Berlin
Okay, there might be one thing better than the British taxi – Berlin’s beer bike. We admit it’s not technically a cab, but how could we miss a mobile bar from the list? And all the driver has to do is steer while the sozzled tourists do all the legwork. Genius.
Alright, so your passengers might get a bit loud and lairy, but they’re always nice to the driver – he’s the one in control of the beer. So if you’re considering upping sticks to work a taxi abroad, Berlin has to be your only option.