There has been a tragic incident reported over the weekend where an expat living in Bangkok was hacked to death by a Bangkok taxi driver. The weapon of choice was a sword. Articles can be found here and here.
The news sent shivers down my spine. I shudder at the thought of taxi drivers keeping all sorts of weapons underneath their seats, ready to lunge into action should their fellow passengers pissed the crap out of them; even though the fault could clearly be that of the cab driver’s.
In my years here in Bangkok, I have been (and still am!) relying quite heavily on taxis to get around, and given how many times I have been seething mad with cab drivers because they either tend to over-charge me or refusing to listen to the directions to get to my own home, such news bring the message home: Just pay, and walk away. The measly 50 baht or 100 baht extra is not worth getting mad at or losing your life over.
While I don’t quite enjoy putting up such tragic news on my blog, this is something I thought is worth sharing as such unfortunate occurrences do remind me how vulnerable we can be when facing-off with an (or any) angry Thai.
Moral of the story: With the Thais, especially those you encounter on the streets, it is almost useless to stand your ground to prove you are right even though they are clearly in the wrong. The best you can do is just keep apologising (even though it was not your fault!), let them feel superior to you, retreat and walk away.
When it comes to taxi fares, unless it is unreasonably exorbitant, I would suggest to just pay up, record the taxi number and report later. You must be thinking that one would be nuts to do that, but I think that you would be crazy not to because your life might just be at stake.