Taxi drivers in India and Malaysia are known to be a little dangerous, whereas those in China simply don’t adhere to the speed limits. After taking my first taxi ride in the US, I realised that over there things aren’t that much different!
One of the first sights I encountered when landing in NYC was the sight of the famous yellow taxis sitting outside JFK Airport. I had budgeted for an epic taxi ride into the city (though this is not recommended if you’re travelling on a shoestring!) and I really enjoyed the experience. New York may be very busy and urban, but it looks amazing from the roads, as you look up at the tall glass skyscrapers and see the art-deco architecture that sits closer to Manhattan.
Mainly from the movies, I had heard all kinds of horror stories about taxi rides in New York City. You know the kind of times when you shut the taxi door and state your destination, then the driver turns round with a completely skeletal face and cackles like a witch, before locking the doors so you can’t get out? Well, luckily that didn’t happen to me – but I guess I have watched way too many Hollywood films so that it was on my mind a little bit. Maybe that’s why I only wanted to experience these crazy taxi rides in the daytime rather than at night. The drivers I had were very kind and actually very quizzical about my purpose in NY. They tried to be very chatty with me, as they dodged their way around other taxis and buses and through the busy city roads.
New York City is absolutely JAM-PACKED during peak hours. Times Square, Columbus Circle, Fifth Avenue, even heading north over the Brooklyn Bridge, all of these areas can be really congested and you don’t want to spend too long in the taxi, as the metre keeps running even when stuck motionless in the traffic! I had an early morning taxi ride from Time Square to Chelsea Market, which wasn’t a long trip, but it still cost me an arm and a leg! I realised that I didn’t really want to travel by taxi anymore in New York City, despite the fun I had inside these iconic yellow vehicles. A much cheaper (but no less scary) option is the New York Subway!