This post is part of a L’appel Du Vide feature, Misadventure Mondays. In each segment, I’ll ask one of my favorite travel bloggers to share one of their Travel Misadventures. This Monday, Megan Starr from A Suitcase and Stilettos shares her story of an altercation with a cab driver.
Tell me a little about yourself and your current trip:
I’m Megan…a Virginian currently living in Norway. I spent my early years living in Europe and then after coming back Stateside, I spent a great deal of my time traveling for sports or sports related activities. And it just never stopped. The only difference now is that my boyfriend is Norwegian, so living with him in Europe makes my travels a little less costly if I’m trekkin’ in this part of the world. I currently just got back from a road trip through Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and Czech Republic…and I’m saving up for my next adventure. Destination remains unknown at this point. And if I am going to be completely honest here, I spend much of my day envisioning what enchiladas and Dr. Pepper tastes like. That can possibly only lead me to one place.
Describe your travel style:
To put it short and sweet, I travel when I have money. Traveling is a lifestyle for me, but my lack of funds usually states otherwise. I got my undergrad in Marketing and decided to get my MBA in International Business as a way to hopefully have a job pay for my unruly travel habit. Hasn’t really paid off so far, but I am optimistic that one day it will! I tend to be attracted to Eastern European locations because they are cheap and not as touristy. I once traveled to Kiev, Ukraine for a few days because I saw their average beer prices on Pint Price were $.80.
I tend to have a misadventure on every trip I go on, but my last was in Verona, Italy on this recent road trip. We (the boyfriend and I) really ran into some language issues on this trip and could not find our way back to our Airbnb host in a small village outside of Verona called Negrar. After taking the wrong bus in the wrong direction, thanks to a local, we ended up walking and finally hours later, hailing a cab. The cab driver spoke impeccable English and we were relieved. He had no idea where to go, so we began instructing him. He stopped listening to our directions and began going his own way, getting us lost really close to our destination. We insisted we would just walk but he locked the doors and told us he’d ‘fix the meter’ so we were not charged for his stupidity. Scared for our lives, we obliged and about 20 minutes later he found the place we were staying. It ended up costing a ridiculous amount (it should have only costs 10€ as we knew from a previous trip and what the cab driver said when we got into his car) and he knocked 1€ off the price. So, as the hothead I am, I began arguing. My boyfriend paid him, but I continued to argue with him…when all of a sudden he couldn’t speak English anymore.
And then…I did the unthinkable. I flipped him off. I am not sure I’ve ever done this to another human being before, but my anger got the best of me. He turned off the cab (all of this was outside of our Airbnb host’s home while they were inside at 3am) and started screaming and making phone calls. He began taking photos of the place we were staying and yelling he was to ‘regulate’ in broken English and we stood outside confused and nervous that he was calling some mob buddies. About half an hour goes by and I was trying to figure out what was happening when my boyfriend got the genius idea to start flashing photos of him, his car, and his middle finger that kept being stuck up at us. Shortly after we started snapping photos, he fled. I am pretty sure I didn’t sleep that night.
Well, the negative was that it put a damper on the night and I truly thought for a few minutes that I might end up getting shot. The positive is that I now realize gestures are only acceptable among Italians if it does not involve the middle finger. Well, I guess this pretty much applies for any location in the world!
What did you learn from this misadventure that you can share with other travelers?
No more taxis. Seriously. I knew better after having several issues in the past, but I need to realize that taxis and I just don’t mesh well. As a result, it is always smart to plan on your method of public transportation before heading into the city from where you are if you’re outside a bit. Europe is so good with public transportation that me taking a taxi should just never happen.
What’s the one other lesson you’ve learned on your trip that you wish you had known before you left?
It is Bus 93 that goes from Verona to Negrar at night and the last one leaves at around midnight. Also, never let a misadventure on the road put a damper on your time there. Not even for a minute! If you do, you’ll miss out on opportunities like this:
Thanks Megan for sharing!
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