Are you kidding me? Is this guy really trying to twist Cheikh’s arm into paying more for this taxi ride after we’d already agreed on a price before getting in? And there hasn’t been any traffic! Ugh. Does he think we just arrived and are totally clueless? Is my white skin just screaming ‘Rip me off!’ or something? So not in the mood for this…

My thoughts from the backseat of this morning’s taxi ride, while concluded an already blah experience in downtown Dakar. I just was not in the mood for this guy’s insistence that we pay more and was hoping that Cheikh was about to lay into him in Wolof to let him know that we knew better and he should be ashamed for trying to pull this.

Dakar taxis. Population: a bijillion

But Cheikh did something even better.

He calmly and clearly said, “Yes, gas is expensive and it is a long drive on this road to our destination, but that’s why I agreed to pay you a full 2,000cfa. I take this route often and I know that’s a very fair price. You’re right though, traffic can be a problem and if it had been, I might have paid more. But we made it here without problems, so 2,000cfa is good.”

Quiet boom.

The driver knew Cheikh was right, and his way of presenting the debate allowed the driver to save face. (Rather than calling him an outright cheat, like I wanted to.)

Sometimes it’s really (really) hard to adapt to another culture’s way of doing things. But as guests in the Senegalese culture, it’s what we strive to do. Some days… one of us is more successful than the other. 😉