Being Conned By A Taxi Man

Being Conned By A Taxi Man

I have been quite lucky in the fact that I haven’t been scammed; you hear in Beijing about people being scammed when they meet a student looking to ‘practice their English with you’ and you both go to a teahouse to drink tea. Then suddenly the bill comes and the tea is at an extortionate price. Obviously the ‘student’ and the teahouse are in this together, and they force the foreigner to pay.

This is quite a well known scam that most people going to Beijing should have heard about. But in Chengdu, I’ve never encountered a scam….

That was until 2 weeks ago…

When my boyfriends parents were here, we decided to go for some Beijing Duck. It’s a little far from our place, so we decided to hail a taxi to get there; costing 20元. About 4/5euro.

After our meal, we caught another taxi and away home we went. Every taxi has a meter, and usually it begins at 8元 and continues from that price.. I think it is based on every kilometre you drive… and it increases by 1yuan.

So naturally we presumed it would be around the 20元 mark. As we were driving, I happened to look at the metre…… 30元!!??

We were still not home… but it was already at this high price! I kept looking at it and the metre suddenly jumped another 2 yuan in a matter of 10 seconds.

‘That’s definitely not right’ I thought. It’s broken.

Then, to make things worse, I didn’t spot any information about the taxi man in the car. No card or details about him… You always see details of the driver on the dashboard. Definitely a dodgy taxi.

It was then when my boyfriend noticed the metre. He asked him why is it so expensive? And the taxi man didn’t reply.

Then, out of nowhere, he starts blabbering in Chinese to him. Huh…. throughout the whole ride home he never said a word…. and it was only until my boyfriend mentioned the price that he started talking.

He asked where we were from and how long have we lived in China. When we said 3 years… I’m pretty sure he copped on and thought ‘Oh no, these guys actually live here…. so they know rightly well that this metre is rigged…. well I can’t do anything about it now…’

So when we arrived home… the metre ended up at 45 元!!! What a ripoff!

He stopped the taxi and we immediately said that’s far too expensive… his reply was ‘You are foreigners!!’ 

And??? Just because we are foreigners doesn’t mean you have the right to rip us off. Obviously he doesn’t care about showing Chinese hospitality to ‘us foreigners’.

So we went back and forth with him about not paying and we settled it at 25元。 A much more satisfactory price.

I keep on wondering how he did it though; did he click a button when he saw us and thats when the metre changed? Or is the metre like that for everybody who uses it?

I didn’t know that type of thing existed. It looked like a normal taxi to us.

And apparently these fake taxis are becoming more and more common, as one student in our class said he got into 3 of these fake ones in the last year.

Thankfully we rarely take taxis, only taking them for the convenience of my boyfriends Mum and Dad being here.

But, it goes to show that these are about. In future, we will look at the dashboard and make sure there is correct information about the driver before we step into the car.

We certainly learned to be more cautious!

再见

爱玲

My rant about my student on probation.

I have been teaching this girl for a few weeks now, the one I mentioned in a previous blog. I decided to put her on probation; every class if she was good, she would gain another class. So I went class by class with her.

The past few weeks were quite good, although she still didn’t like English. But this weeks class was when she really pushed me over the edge, by way of me slamming her books on the desk and telling her to leave the classroom.

The beginning of class was ok. My PA was in to figure out what to teach her, as her mother asked us to teach from her English book from school. So we figured it out and we started to learn the topic.

As soon as the PA left, she was misbehaving; laying her head on the table, not talking, and just being lazy.

She then asked me;

‘What’s your name?’

I said ‘You know my name.’

‘I forget…..Sabrina.’

This is one of her previous teachers.

‘You know that isn’t my name’.

‘I don’t know your name.’

I have taught her about 10 times, she definitely knows my name. That’s her way of pissing me off.

So I tried and tried with her for the remainder of the class, until she got angry with me.

What she told me was something I would NEVER, when I was her age, have said to my teacher. Never. She said them to me before, and I decided to give her another chance. But not this time. She does not have the right to say any of the things she said to me.

By this stage I was very angry, and upset. We still had 5 minutes left of class but I told her to go. She was blabbering in Chinese, and I was speaking English really fast back to her, knowing she wouldn’t understand. I opened the door and told her to leave and then I sat down and went on my phone. At this stage she didn’t know what to do!

She then said:

‘You are not happy.’

I replied .’No, I’m not happy, I’m very annoyed at what you said. You cannot say those things!’

Then she backtracked.

‘Oh but I’m sorry, I did not mean to say those things.

I replied ‘But the things is, you did. You did mean those things!’

Then she got super sweet and said;

‘My birthday, thank you for the card.’

I replied ‘It’s ok, you can leave now. Class is finished.’

So she slowly left the classroom and I just stayed; annoyed and upset at what she said. I went up and caught her leaving with her Mum, saying ‘Goodbye Aisling’. (Oh, now she knows my name) I just replied bye and walked ahead. I then told the PA that I’m wasn’t teaching her anymore.

Her answer was ‘But she really likes you Aisling. She was like this with her other teacher too, saying mean things to her. Her behaviour isn’t right. Her Mum doesn’t care about her. ‘

I replied ‘Thats not my fault. It shouldn’t be the teacher teaching her good behaviour and manners, thats the parents job not mine. She can’t say those things to people. If the Mum doesn’t care, then why should I then?’

She then replied ‘ The student needs behaviour counselling.’

Too right she does.

Teaching English is a two way system. The teacher has to do their job, and the student has to do theirs. Theres only so much teachers can do. If the student doesn’t want to learn, then it’s much harder for us to do our jobs. Plus, some parents expect us to do THEIR jobs, by teaching them manners and good behaviour. Then, if the student isn’t learning anything; the parents give out to the parents saying its our fault.

If you taught your son or daughter good behaviour then we wouldn’t be having this problem. Especially with my student.

Apparently with my student, her mother favours her younger brother who is smart, enjoys English, and is better than her. My PA said to me;

‘When I talk to the mother about X behaviour today, she compares her to her brother and how good he is. She does it when she is listening. So then she thinks she is stupid because she isn’t as clever as her brother.’

The Mum shouldn’t be saying these things in front of her daughter. This surely isn’t helping her self esteem or her confidence. Imagine having to listen to that from your own Mum!

But anyway, I re-iterated today that I’m not teaching her again. I don’t care to listen to her give out about me for a 3rd time.

So after my horrendous class, myself and Rafa went to the cinema with two other friends and we watched Spectre, blocking my hideous class out of my mind for a while.

Let’s hope I don’t see her on my timetable for next week, AND I don’t get another student as bad as her in the future.

再见!

爱玲 (aì líng)

Aisling.