Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Death Stalks Ras Al Khaimah

Mr. Ghulam, our regular taxi driver, knew the driver who was murdered last week in Ras Al Khaimah. He's a little sad and puzzled by it: the victim was a gentle, gentle man with a family, according to Mr. G.

Apparently taxis taking long fares like to lodge the passenger’s ID with the police just in case they refuse to pay for some reason (with a Dhs200 fare, if the passenger doesn’t give it up, the driver pays – and that’s a helluva lot of money for a cabbie here) and a Sharjah taxi, a pal of Mr. G’s, had declined the fare after the two passengers refused to lodge their IDs and were angry and threatening. He watched another taxi pick them up and never saw the driver again – his body was found the next morning, as the newspaper reports.

The man that refused the fare is currently feeling a sort of guilty relief.

Mr. G. is a little worried that people have taken to stabbing taxi drivers: this is a new and unwanted abuse being heaped on the heads of a bunch of people who already have it pretty hard. His least favourite night-time fare isn’t Ras Al Khaimah, though: it’s Fujeirah. “I won’t take the fare. Past Masafi it’s dark and lonely and if they are two and you are one, what can you do?”

Sharjah taxis are also currently doing all they can to avoid Dubai fares: it’s increasingly hard for them to make their money when they write off two or more hours on the return journey in an empty cab. They aren’t allowed, of course, to pick up in Dubai. This means that lots of people are shouting at them now.

Mr. G. remains phlegmatic…

1 comment:

Angooooze said...

It's sad and worrying that violent crime seems to be on the increase.

Of course cabbies are not allowed to pick up a fare on the way back to Sharjah because that would:
a) be helpful to the public (not RTA core business)
b) make sense - both economic sense & (that oh so elusive of commodities common sense
c) help reduce the nightmare traffic (anyone else think it's madness in a city where it can take an hour to travel the length of your car that carpooling is soooo illegal that it merits a new radio ad campaign to warn us of the dire consequences?)
d) imply that the UAE is in fact all one country
Ooooh, I'm getting cynical again - it must be time for a holiday.

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