As an expat in Kuwait, one of the few things that we could do to enjoy our stay in a foreign country is to go out for a drive and stroll. Unfortunately, having your own car is a luxury we couldn’t afford and the process of getting a license is such a pain in the ass.
Fortunately, public transport in Kuwait is readily available. Public buses can be spotted in any bus stops and taxis can be easily spotted anywhere you look at.
Unfortunately, the public transports doesn’t seem to be favorable for the locals. I have witnessed this dilemma for the Kuwaitis even before I realized this situation two years ago. Before, I thought that the taxi drivers were just picky for the location that they wanna go. But it wasn’t the case.
My friends and I were waiting for a taxi at the Marina Mall in Salmiya. We thought that it’s gonna be difficult for us to get a taxi since there were a lot of Arabs and Arab teens waiting to book a taxi. We were waving our hands to get the attention of the taxi drivers. To our surprise, three taxis rushed to us as if they were having a race, and we are the prize. The first taxi left because we couldn’t agree with fare yet didn’t even try to ask the other passengers. The next taxi followed us and negotiated the fare, and of course we still didn’t agree with the fare. This time, I noticed that the taxi drivers were queueing for us and just ignoring the other passengers. The third taxi finally agreed to take us on. While getting inside the taxi, I could feel the eyes of the crowd staring at us.
That very moment left a deep impression about the taxi drivers here in Kuwait. They don’t take Kuwaiti passengers. Out of curiosity, I confirmed my inference by asking the driver.
“Why do most of the taxis in Marina Mall did not take the other passengers?” I asked the driver who is probably an Indian or Pakistasni national.
“Because Kuwaiti People don’t pay.” He answered in an irritating tone.
“Why don’t they pay?” I asked again.
“Because they are Kuwaiti, they know they could always get away. What can we do, this is their country?” He answered sarcastically.
I didn’t ask for more questions because I sensed he was not in the mood to make a friendly conversation. Probably because I haggled too much. LoLWe couldn’t blame if the taxi drivers think that most Kuwaitis don’t pay their taxi fares. Probably because of their experiences and the words of mouth among taxi drivers that they are becoming more vigilant in choosing their passengers. However, we should stop stereotyping that all Kuwaitis are acting like a**holes because there are still a lot of them who are decent and nice. A lot of them are actually generous.
What do you think? Do Kuwaitis don’t really pay their taxi fare? Comment down below your thoughts.