Right, listen up.

I think it’s about time you got your act together.

Firstly, please don’t smoke in your cab. Because you’re a man and I’m a woman and you’re the one with the power because your hands are behind the wheel and not mine, I don’t feel comfortable saying “No”, when you ask me, “Is it alright if I smoke?”

It’s never alright to smoke in your cab when you’ve got a passenger!

Secondly, please don’t touch my leg. I only sat in the front passenger seat because  there were other passengers in the back. Sitting in the front seat does not give you permission to touch my leg.

It is never appropriate to touch a woman in your cab, okay?

Thirdly, install meters. If I’m at Timor Lodge and I need to go to the airport, which is only one minute away, it shouldn’t cost me $10!

You’ve lost my business, next time I’ll catch the airport bus.

Next up, if we agree on a price, don’t be a prick when we get to the destination and you want more money. I know how much routes cost and the way you’re crouching over your wheel and shaking your head (what’s with that?) is not going to change my mind.

Lastly, learn a few English words for landmarks and restaurants. It’s frustrating when visiting friends can’t catch a cab alone because you have no idea where you’re going (having a map might help).

Unofficially yours,Zena

P.S. Where do you all go in the night time? If you were serious about making money, start a night shift service.

Side note: Unfortunately I am not the only one who has had problems with Dili’s cab drivers! Fundasaun Mahein’s post Airport Taxi Drivers: Ignoring Little Laws? (English translation at the bottom) highlights some of the current problems with the taxi service in Dili. They also offer some potential solutions to these problems.