The One-kuai Roll
01 Jan 2007
The starting fare for taxis in Shanghai is 11 RMB, or, as the locals say, 11 kuai. This amount increases as a function of both distance traveled and time. This is all well and good.
What is not well and good, however, is a trick the taxi drivers frequently pull which I will dub “the one-kuai roll.” The typical one-kuai roll scenario is something like this:
> Scene: in a taxi on the streets of Shanghai, in light traffic.
> You: OK, this is good. Stop here.
> Driver: What? Here? [taxi slows down but continues moving forward]
> You: Yes, Here! Here! [taxi still moving forward]
> Driver: OK, I’m stopping. [taxi still moving forward]
> You: Stop! Stop! [taxi still moving forward]
> [Just as the taxi finally rolls to a stop, the fare increases by one kuai.]
> Driver: That’ll be 21 RMB, please.
> You: D’oh!
That’s the one-kuai roll: a sly move to bump the fare up by just one more RMB. It seems like almost all the drivers do it. It’s only one kuai ($0.12), but man, it’s annoying.