This is a true-to-life story, because this happened to me.. just a few hours ago!
*Sharing this to warn everyone of the evil schemes of cab drivers! I HATE CABS!!! They apparently have a switch or button hidden somewhere in front to unlock the doors – not the usual ones we can see on the doors. Be alert ALL THE TIME and GET DOWN ASAP if this happens to you too!
When my friend and I got to Cubao from La Union, I asked to be dropped off in Gateway to take a cab home. Due to my numerous bad experiences with taxis, I immediately went through the Cab Riding Checklist in my head right when I got in one: 1 -Lock all doors,check. 2 – Text daddy or anyone the cab details, NONE.
So there’s Warning Sign #1.
Trying not to panic (or look like I already was), I moved behind the driver’s seat, pulled my cap down, got all my cash from my wallet and phone and put them in my jacket pockets. From EDSA, the cab took a right towards San Juan. Thought Bubble: Dark places, tambays everywhere.
^Warning Sign #2.
Impulse: I took out my house key and held on to it, ready to punch anyone for my dear life. I also started to practice the body combat moves from gym in my head… “Jab, jab, cross. Punch with your whole body for more force and power. Core tight. Shuffle, side-kick. Take the head and use your knees. Arms up then hit with the elbow. Roundhouse!”
In my attempt to calm down my pounding heart, I thought “Okay, so maybe he’s trying to get away from traffic… although maybe I should take my camera and wear it around my neck then zip up my jacket to hide it. And yeah, I’ll put my back pack underneath, in between my legs.” As I was about to do all these, both doors at the back unlocked. So I locked them. Guess what? They effin’ unlocked again. There’s Warning Sign #3.
Action plan: First, try to stop doors from unlocking para walang resbak si kuya. With my short limbs I reached for the locks on both doors, pressing on them as hard as I can. Both doors kept on unlocking THE WHOLE TIME I was in the cab. I could feel both arms getting sore already trying to hold them down. I could see the driver glancing at the rear view mirror. I looked at both his hands, one was on the wheel, another on the stick. HOW THE F IS HE DOING THIS!? Does he have an extra hand somewhere? (yeah the thought crossed my mind due to panic) His feet? A button or switch somewhere? They have gotten so clever!!!
Now I really needed to go down… Where?! I squeezed out my brain of the safest place in the area. Aha! The San Juan Police Station, and it’s just around the corner. I just had to wait a minute or two before going down. Yes, the whole time I was battling with the door locks. Audience was manong driver as he kept on looking at me with the rear view mirror. I didn’t want to look worried since he might just step on the gas, I won’t be be able to go down at all. To be honest, I was cursing and praying the whole time. When I saw the police station, I said I’ll go down already. He asked why, I said ” Basta dito na lang.” I looked at the meter, paid the guy and hurried inside the station. I wasn’t able to look at the plate number or the cab company, I really just wanted to get away from the taxi ASAP. I called my dad to fetch me there.
Please pass. Again friends, make yourself aware of your surroundings. I would always listen to music with my earphones all the time during cab rides. I didn’t this time because I was running out of battery already. If I was, I wouldn’t have been able to hear the “click” of the doors unlocking. I was lucky I noticed it.
Just a few tips, but I know there are more all of us should know so feel free to add yours:
1. As much as possible, don’t ride a cab at all. If need be, don’t take one alone especially if you’re a girl.
2. Take the plate number and details BEFORE you get in. I didn’t do this, so lesson learned for me.
3. Learn self-defense or have something to protect yourself with. I had a key but it would require contact with the criminals – not advisable. Plus, if you’re gonna battle with more than one, a key won’t really be helpful. This reminded me to buy pepper spray again.
4. Do not listen to your mp3 players in cabs. Better to have your sense of hearing to spot weirdness during the ride.
5. Look at the route the cab is taking. My mom told me I should have given the cab specific directions so he’ll not be able to meet up with his kakonchabas. If he suggests another way and gives an excuse that’s it’s traffic, it’s nearer this way, blah blah blah, be firm. I should’ve done this but I was so tired already it slipped my mind.
6. Worse comes to worst, just give your stuff. They are not worth your own life, so if you find yourself in that sh*t-uation, just let go.
Now I’m home SAFE, WITHOUT LOSING ANYTHING. Still a bit shaken about the whole thing but I feel very grateful :) Hope this serves as a warning to everyone. Feel free to tag your friends or repost.