Three stages of manhood: taxi driver philosophy

Taxi drivers wait for passengers. Picture: Tracy lee Stark

Taxi drivers wait for passengers. Picture: Tracy lee Stark

Tricky maths in the front seat and other taxi experiences.

Each of South Africa’s approximately 15 million daily taxi commuters has their own experience of how it feels like to travel in one. You get to meet different people everyday with different attitudes, and you get to hear of things you wouldn’t normally come across if you were travelling on your private vehicle or the bus.

But what’s interesting is not just the travelling but the all-encompassing experiences you encounter with taxi drivers and the rules they sometimes have for commuters. In some taxis you will find stickers such as, “no fat people in the front seat” because they will “disturb” the driver. You find the “3 shape of men” advice on marriage and other kinds of advice.


Most taxi commuters would agree that if you want to get to your destination faster, a taxi is recommended, but if you want to get there safer and alive, you would try and avoid a taxi, as they often jump red robots, hence their punctuality.

You also have to count money if you sit in the front seat. This may sound like simple mathematics if you’ve never done it. With taxi fares different depending on where you going, you have to count prices with decimals, and you dare get it wrong, you will have to pay for whatever money that does not add up.

However, being in a taxi is not all that bad. In fact, there are many positive experiences. You get to be one with the people; you get to hear of the different perspectives on issues on politics you wouldn’t normally get on mainstream media. If you missed your favourite soapie, you definitely have to be on a taxi to hear how it all panned out. At the risk of generalising, being in a taxi is quite a nice experience sometimes. This is what other commuters had to say about travelling in taxis:




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