I was in Bangkok for a meeting yesterday. The actual meeting lasted about 30 minutes but it took us all day to get there and back. While the plane ride was smooth and uneventful, the cab ride from Bangkok city to the airport was scary.
Firstly, the cab driver couldn't speak a word of English. His cab was dirty and smelt funky inside. As if it wasn't bad enough enough that the seat belt didn't work, he drove like a madman, overtaking dangerously and negotiating sharp bends without slowing down.
For some 30 minutes, I clung on for dear life and cursed myself for not speaking the Thai language. Instead of shouting "Slow down! Slow down!", I prayed that we could arrive at the airport in one piece.
By the time we reached the airport, my business associate was too terrified to ask for a receipt. We just hurried out of the foul smelling cab and wished the next unlucky passenger all the best.
I've encountered several horrifying incidences during my travels. There was one in Shanghai who sped me to the airport just to prove that I had made the wiser decision of boarding his cab instead of taking the train.
Yet another time, the one in Taipei kept nodding off as he drove, I had to constantly talk to him to keep him awake. When I asked if he was too sleepy to drive, he denied vehemently.
It sucks to think that while we are such careful drivers back home, we often have to put our lives in the hands of bad drivers when we travel.