Never underestimate how ridiculous a taxi ride can be

Having just arrived in Guangzhou, I wanted to find a place that I could use wifi at. It was after midnight, and my train was scheduled to leave at noon the next day. I figured I was probably going to need to do an all-nighter, and asked a taxi driver if he knew of an Internet cafe nearby. He said yes, and ushered me to his cab. Generally this time of night is when scams are the most common, and me walking out of the train station with a backpack on made me look like the perfect mark. I asked him multiple times if he was sure, and told him I didn’t want troubles. He assured me he knew, and when I got in the cab, he turned on his meter. I was feeling less wary at this point, and began to relax while he started to make a phone call. The phone call was on speaker phone, and I perked up when I heard him asking who he was talking to where an Internet cafe is. They laughed together about having no clue, and the cab driver made the second U turn in 5 minutes, essentially driving in a circle around the train station… A literal obvious fucking circle. He then told me there was an internet cafe across the city, and that it opens at 9am. He offered to drop me off so I could wait outside for it to open. I asked him to return me to the station, but he kept driving the same 4 blocks, circling the train station. It was then that I noticed the meter was increasing at an abnormally high rate of about 4RMB a minute. When I questioned this he said to me in English, “many many money. I want many money from you,” and laughed. I opened the door while his car was moving and told him I’d walk back. He stopped and tried to get me not to leave, even promising me he would be “a very nice man,” but I refused and paid the bill. I walked the 2 kilometers back to the train station and gave up on leaving for any reason whatsoever. My advice to foreigners in these situations: get the fuck out of them. It’s only going to get worse, the sooner you remove yourself, the better. It’s the law of sunken costs, walking 2 kilometers is better than staying in the cab and having him take you the long way back for a bill of 100RMB

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