25 January 2014

Bark, but don't bite?

I had a run in with a crazy taxi driver.

Here's the plot. I live about half a km from my workplace. I ride a scooter. There's one single road from my home to the workplace. It's broad, hardly has traffic and paved. It's part of a network of roads for a layout where there are very few homes. Newbie learners use this road to practice/ learn how to ride a bike or drive a car. 

While returning this afternoon, I am out of the campus gate and trundling down this road. I see a giant SUV in the oncoming lane. Behind it is a white Indica. As I approach the SUV, the taxi driver appears to make a quick mental calculation, after seeing me, because he suddenly swerves out of his lane, on to mine, and bears down on me. Caramba, I have to go off the road or get hit. I drive off the road. I yell.

I get really mad. I turn around and follow the taxi. I want to know if he realized he did something wrong. He gives chase. So I am following him around on top speed on a scooter I rarely push over 30km/hr. I am going so fast that my helmet is flying off my head and slipping backwards. The driver realizes this and keeps speeding. Luckily he decides to go towards our local market. There are enough speed bumps, cows, cars, cycles etc to slow him down. I catch up and corner him. I park in such a way that he can't get out without reversing. I can't stop screaming. I wish I hadn't though. I wish I had the presence of mind to park my scooter in front of his car, and ask him to get out and apologize. He yells, I yell. I memorize the license plate number. He reverses and drives off.

I get home and call the Traffic Police. I complain about rash driving and give them the licence plate number. The cop tells me that if only there was an accident he can do something. 

All this aggravation for what? It was a generic white Indica taxi, with two men, whom, given the briefness of our interaction I would not be able to identify. Also, what did I really achieve by giving chase and yelling at them? Was my being a woman riding a scooter one of the elements that figured in the taxi-drivers decision-making when he decided to swerve into me? I wish I had a James Bond style gizmo appended to my phone which would have allowed me to accurately deflate all four tyres! Bah. Humbug.

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