Friday, 18 May 2007

Oh, Taxi, Taxi...

I rode a taxi in Japan only once, when I first arrived. From Haneda airport to Komaba. But this only once experience is something ill never forget!!!

I was surprised first to discover that the door opens automatically when the driver pushes a button, and closes automatically too. Inside, I thought that I am in a nuclear lab!!!! The taxi has more than 3 LCD screens!! Once I rode the driver entered the address I am intending to go using a keyboard. He only entered the zip code number, and to my surprise one of the screens showed Tokyo map, from above, with a green line that shows the path the driver should go through!!!! Thats probably using the Wi-Max technology - which we will see in Amman in 5 years-.

The map showed our current position, our destination and the path we should take, which is the shortest path ofcourse. While driving, the green line gets shorter the closer we get to the destination. It also dynamically changes if you take another route than the designated on, to show you the shortest path again after the route you took.

We passed through something like a toll. Will the taxi stop, I thought? No it didnt. It just passed through the tall and something like a bill came out from a device inside the taxi. I concluded that it probably connected with it and that was the bill to pay, without even stopping.

The driver doesnt talk with the passenger. He doesnt need to. All what he has to do is to drive, while wearing the clean uniform. Also, smoking is not allowed!

Taxis are pretty expensive in here, I think you can all now understand why :)


ukyou said...

I too haven't been in many taxis in japan. Car navigation (kaa nabi) is quite useful to try and find your way in tokyo's busy streets. think it is GPS based with database for the vity stored on the device. The system is already used elswhere in the world and we only need a company to map ammn for it to work! But Amman is small and u woudl probably readh your destination before the device computed the route :D

Aya said...

Taxi drivers' income is the lowest of any occupation in Japan.
Their average annual income in Japan is as little as 20,000JD, which is quite low in Japan. They need to work hard from morning till midnight, but still have difficulties in their living if they have families. And the maintenance costs of the cars are so expensive.

تكسي ممل!! said...

بس بصراحة التكاسي عنا احلا
يعني في اليابان السواقين بعبروش الراكب
بس عنا بحكي معك كانو زمان بعرفك و ببلش يديوين(من دواوين)
فانظر يا رعاك الله!!!

Anonymous said...

i remember...when i was in Jordan, i learned Arabic mostly from taxi drivers. i was very proud of myself being able to comunicate with them for 15minutes long only in Arabic!


samer said...

Sanad, while reading your account, I forgot for a moment that you are in Japan and felt that you were posting from the future..

order, automation, convinience, solitude..

what a surreal feeling...

ukyou said...

I agree on the fact that riding the taxi in Jordan is more interesting since it is in fact a much more social experience!

Aya said...

Is the taxi also expensive in Jordan?

Anonymous said...

In Japan the basic fare is about 4 JD (up to 1.5 or 2 km), and half dinar per additional 300m(varies a bit depending on the taxi companies).
It is cheaper than taxis in London or USA. No tipping required.

ukyou said...

Taxis in Jordan are quite cheap and you get extras like interesting stories and tips from the locals! plus other quirky extras :P

Sami said...

Wonderful , Perfect !!!

Sanad is like telling us about a dream land we what future will be

Enjoy it Sanad seems it won't happen even within 5 years

Do You Really prefer Taxi's here in jordan for their fake lies :) ?

Well , I am sick of it , Really Boring :S

subzero said...

Guys nothing in Jordan can stress me more than Taxis!!

Have anyone tried going to shmesani with a taxi? this is the forbidden area for taxis!! And never try to ask for ur change. ull never get them back!!!

Waiting for a taxi is also a huge problem especially under the rain!

If I thank god for sth, it is becoz i dont have to ride Jordanian taxis anymore...

subzero said...


I agree with you this is the future itself!!! I was so amazed, and you can imagine my face since this is the FIRST thing I saw in japan!!!

subzero said...

Ukyou san,

You will also hear love stories that happened with the taxi driver. Plus he will always stop for either coffee or fuel. And its always when you ride!!

subzero said...

Sami-san, I am enjoying it as much as I can. Trains in Japan are really perfect. I love them..

Samer said...

Let's not start about Jordan Taxi's..

They are very depressing, they just can't shut up when you want them to. and the nice interactions are usually only the ones that you start. There's nothing worse than a talkative taxi.. oh wait, there is, a pissed-off taxi. I plainly hate it when they start talking about their [non-existant]love lifes, or prostitutes they meet.

You know, for those who knew me for the past 2-3 years, its sort of difficult to believe, but once, years ago, I fought with a taxi. The bastard exploited that I'm 'houkou onchi' (have no sense of direction) and 'akhadha mgata3a' ('took a short cut' in taxi slang) for like 30 minutes, when I told him I'm not gonna give him more than 1JD, he said it's fine except that he'll return me to where he picked me up.. of-course I refused and then things escalated and well, you can imagine the rest.

SimSim said...

nafs ettakasee elle 3enna b3amman :D

Aya said... the taxi fare is quite cheap in Jordan!!
I am sure they are having difficulties in their living.
They should raise their fare and provide better service.
Aren't there any big taxi companies you can call by telephone?

ukyou said...

Yes they are quite cheap.
You can tour teh Capital Amman for 2~3 JDs. (350-540) The basic meter fare starts at 150 fils which is like 20 yen or so.

Still most taxis are not so well origanized but they are not that bad.
I have some bad experiences with Taxi drivers but i tend to ignore them.

I agree with Aya san that the life of taxi drivers is quite hard especially those who don't own their own cars. The Taxi and public transport system is a challenge that we must all try to tackle.
Any good input in the matter would be great!

Subzerosan, I don't mind the stories cause i totally forget them the minute I step off the taxi. but some stories are Oscar material!

Kanji_chan said...

:D i knew about this taxi shortest path system for some time..our graduation project initial idea was to do something similar..but figured out it was a little big for a graduation project.
well i tend to dislike the stories of taxi drivers, unless they were ojiisan's! these ones are the ones who talk really friendly and honestly and make you laugh some times! :D

hontou ni momtazu! ;)

sanado san,
nice post hontou ni! ^_^

Manno said...


redrose said...

Hey..what a wonderful Taxistas you have in Japan!! It sounds 5 stars talking with smoking..advanced sounds very interesting experience! Japanese..we should learn from them a lot.!!

You have a very interesting blog..I'll make sure to visit it to have a look at your experience there, glad to know it now and good luck in your study at Tokyo.