A few weeks ago I landed in Paris and took a cab at CDG airport. It took literally 5 minutes to negotiate with the driver to take us on board because “we had too much luggage”. He simply did not want to put a small bag on the front seat as the trunk was full.
Taxi drivers in Paris always complain. They do not know what a customer is. They behave as if they were your customer and you have to beg them to get a ride. They complain if you pay by credit card. They complain if you pay cash and have no change. They pretend they never have change to force you to give them a big tip. They complain that your trip is not long enough. If there is no reason to complain they will find one.
It’s been like this since I have been taking cabs in Paris. The last 30 years. Not surprising that Travis Kalanick decided to launch Uber after a terrible experience with cabs in Paris.
Today I took a cab to Haneda airport, Tokyo. After two weeks in Japan I got used to the insane level of service everywhere. Everyone is so nice. If you haven’t been to Japan it’s even difficult to understand the level of service there is here.
And there are no tips anywhere. No tips but much better service. You really get used to it.
Anyway something weird happened to me. The taxi stopped at the airport as we arrived. I was about to pay when I saw the driver open his door and literally run out of the car. He ran so fast I wish I had recorded a video. My Spectacles sadly were in the bags.
What could be happening that he had to run fast out of the car? It felt like the car caught fire and he had to run away to save his life. I was almost worried.
The driver ran to get me a cart for my luggage.
Then he ran back with the cart and started offloading my luggage on the cart. I simply could not believe it. Then he sat back in his taxi and apologized for “making me wait” and took my payment. Still no tips. Unbelievable.
I’m flying from Tokyo to Paris and getting ready for the cultural shock tomorrow morning. Could we fly some Paris taxi drivers for training in Tokyo?
How did Japan manage to have “being nice” and “amazing service” so deeply rooted in their culture?
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