Do taxis in Kolkata know where they are going?

27 Oct

It’s a valid question.  After being here for a few days and taking our fair share of taxis around the city, the same question I come back to is, “Do these drivers have any clue where they are going?”

Case in point, we got in a taxi yesterday and asked to be dropped at the Netaji Bhawan METRO station so we could walk to a bookshop and arts center that was close by.  The driver took us to Netaji Bhawan, not the METRO station.  When I tried to get him to take us to the Metro, he had no clue where it was.

Luckily a security guard was standing nearby and we asked where the station was.  He told us it was around the corner so we decided to walk.  We paid the driver and set out on foot.

After about three km, we felt totally lost and another taxi driver was sitting in the street, so we asked him.  We were supposed to be on SP Mukherjee Road, but when we asked him he had no clue where it was.  Another driver pulled up next to the first guys taxi and a discussion ensued.  The first driver asked the second (in Bengali) where SP Mukherjee Road was.  The second driver laughed and pointed to the street we were on.  The first driver didn’t even know the name of the street he was sitting on!

Well we finally found the Metro station, but failed to find the bookstore or the arts center.  We gave up and caught a taxi back to Park Street, which the driver WAS able to find… well, wish us luck.



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