03 December, 2014

Chinese, VIII

taxi taxi
taxi airport taxi
taxi expressway

thank you driver
you're the laoban - no!
you're the laoban!

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

The taxi ride along the "airport expressway" to Beijing airport, at 5 a.m. is just like this. There is almost nothing on the road except taxis. Squadron after phalanx after platoon of taxis. They all look the same, they all head in the same direction.

My top tip for travelling in Beijing is to call your taxi driver "Laoban", meaning, approximately, "Boss" in an informal and warm manner. There's absolutely no harm in (i) demonstrating that you can manage a little bit of Mandarin, and (ii) getting on your taxi driver's good side. This is true wherever you are in the world, of course, and I've noticed that London cabbies do like to be called "Boss", just as do their Beijing counterparts. Amusingly, the taxi driver called me "laoban", after I'd tried it out on him.

The image that makes the haiga is another taxi driver, familiar to the author of the haiku: it crops up in the most unexpected of places in our house and, presumably, drives there itself. Like the taxi drivers of London who have to acquire "The Knowledge" before they get their license (i.e., a detailed working knowledge of the maze of central London's streets), so dear old Winnie the Pooh appears to have a very detailed equivalent for our own house.