Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sign of the Times?

On Monday and Tuesday, I was in Ljubljana on business and made an interesting - "shocking", even - discovery. Both my (Croatian) colleague and I were fleeced by taxi drivers on the short ride from the train-station to our hotel. I am not so much surprised by the fact that there are taxi drivers out there that rip foreigners off, but that it happened where I least suspected it. There are several cities where you have to take great care and the tips of a local in order to avoid the notorious taxi-mafia (e.g. Vilnius) and others that used to have a really bad reputation, but turn out to be ridiculously cheap (e.g. Sofia), but in Ljubljana, capital of the nation whose inhabitants tend to pride themselves of being "more German than the Germans", I definitely didn't expect it.

Both my colleague and I arrived on Sunday and we both took an official taxi that was waiting in line in front of the central railway station. Both drivers turned on the (obviously manipulated) meter and issued us with a receipt without blinking. I paid a whopping  €14.85 for a 4.5 km ride as you can see on the receipt below, but my colleague actually paid - get this - €30 for the same journey! It costs less (if you take a decent cab) to get to the airport which is quite far out and in fact I paid € 18.5 for a ride from the city to the airport yesterday in a taxi that my Slovenian colleague had arranged for me. To be honest, I was surprised my Croatian colleague was ripped off twice as badly as me. She asked at the hotel reception how much it should have been and they told her, around €6.

When we told our Slovenian colleagues the story of our daylight robbery experiences over dinner, they were surprised, but the female one said it had happened to her once as well. We concluded it must be a consequence of the dire economic situation.


Blogger alcessa said...

That's really bad! Most of all: 30 euro! Džizus... (don't know anything about taxi drivers in Ljubljana but it wouldn't really surprise me if it turned out it is always the "bad economy principle" driving them to act like that ...)

I did get ... fleeced a bit by a taxi driver from Karlsruhe once, too :-) - he had assumed I didn't know my way home and showed me some, well: beautiful sights. During a night ride. :-)

But not that much ...

11/21/2012 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Hm, your experience in Karlsruhe just goes to show that perhaps the Germans are more Slovenian than the Slovenians? :-)

11/21/2012 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger alcessa said...

Could be, could be :-))

(I was tired and he was old and I thought I'd pay him for the extra ride because he exuded no danger and was working the night shift.)

But I guess you know what "being more German than Germans" actually means :-) Acting like an Über-Herrenmensch in the presence of an audience and stealing the Balkan way when feeling unobserved :-)

11/21/2012 09:36:00 PM  

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