May 2008


Weimar’s Worst Taxi Driver

I’ve ridden in taxis in a lot of countries—and while I’ve been financially ripped off in Lisbon, I’ve never had a taxi driver who has nearly ended up in an accident.

It’s actually true for everywhere else I’ve ridden taxis: Germany, United States, London, Budapest, and beyond. Usually the most that happens to me is that a driver will scare me, but otherwise be operating within local driving standards.

Thursday night, however, that changed a bit within Weimar: I had arrived at the main train station at about 7:55 on the train from Jena. I got in a taxi and we headed toward my house, traveling along Fuldaer Straße.

We were behind a smaller hatchback that was traveling slightly under the speed limit and my taxi driver was impatient. As we approached Schwanseestraße, the street widens a bit—deciding to take advantage of the lack of traffic going the other way, my driver decided to try and pass the hatchback in what is, essentially, a no passing zone. He was actually going to use the left-turn lane to try and get around the hatchback.

The hatchback, not being aware of my idiotic taxi driver, turned on his left turn signal and started sliding into the left turn lane, the lane that my taxi driver was trying to use to pass.

My driver slammed on the brakes and we came within half a meter of hitting the hatchback.

My driver tried to laugh it off, blaming the “heat” for his poor thinking.

I think, since it was about 7:59, he was eager to get me to my destination so that he could go home—I suspect it was the end of his shift.

After paying him, and leaving no tip, I got out of the taxi walked a few steps forward, turned around, and took a photo of the taxi—and if you look through the windshield, you can see the driver. It’s easier to see if you use the original size, but even there the light wasn’t that great.

Schlecht Taxi

I would take the time to figure out who the appropriate person to complain to is, but I don’t have the time since I’m about to embark on a lengthy trip.

4 comments to Weimar’s Worst Taxi Driver

  • Well, the license plate is clear and easy to read. I don’t know if the same driver is always in the same car (I suspect that’s the case in the majority of taxis), but if so, this is a good deterrent.

    An additional tactic: you could put the license plate in the text of the post, so that anyone ever googles it, they’ll see your warning.

  • @Cliff1976: Actually I suspect typing WE XJ 40 in the comments would let Google find this post quickly–somebody leaving a comment about E’vision on a post that had nothing to do about E’vision has resulted in that post being the first hit when you google “Jena” and E’vision. But I won’t actually spell out E’vision in this comment.

    Just WE XJ 40

  • Scott

    I will say that it’s always refreshing to see non-Ford cars as Taxis. I remember going to Stuttgart and seeing on the Mercedes taxis and asking my partner, “is this for real?”

    Hope you have a nice weekend – don’t let the “heat” get to you.


  • Well, that’s definitely worse than any taxi cab experience I’ve had.