Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A 'For Foreigner Taxi' Didn't Want A Foreigner As Passenger On A Rainy Seoul Morning

I always wonder what goes into the mind of a taxi driver who doesn't want to give a paying passenger a ride even under these heavy rains in Seoul.

Today, at 8:35AM, under the heavy rains, I spotted a black 'For Foreigner Taxi' along the Hannam-dong main road with its LED signage on its roof saying, 'OPEN'. I took the sign to mean that it's 'empty'. 

And as the taxi was on the outer lane, next to the sidewalk, going to the direction of Itaewon with the traffic stopped, I walked towards it and opened the door. I found that the taxi had no passenger, but the driver immediately blurted it out Korean words which included '외국인', meaning 'foreigner'.  

I told him, '외국사람요' (I'm a foreigner). But he continued to speak in Korean, and I only recognized the word 'call'. 

With his two excuses, I finally concluded that this driver of a 'for foreigner only' taxi didn't want me as a passenger that day.  And I resigned to the idea, that I may stand there soaking under the rain for a longer time waiting for an alternative transportation to work.

I hope that the driver of that 'for foreigner taxi' with the plate number 서울34자1063, who drove through Hannam-dong this rainy morning and who dissed the wet, helpless passenger, may have a drier day inside his taxi.
His taxi was for foreigners. His taxi was empty. His taxi drove away... without a passenger.


  1. Well, that was real rude of him...can't believe some people can be so rude.

  2. Nice to read your blog. I enjoy your very informative articles. I hope he is not being racist. Maybe he has the notion that foreigners are those who are Caucasians pertaining to the white or dark skin people. I guess the driver needs re orientation about the how comprehensive and broad the word foreigner can get. A Korean who was born and raised in the US and travelled to Korea and would want to ride his taxi has all the right to board his cab! He might get the same treatment from that driver! Ms Dee here.

    1. Thanks, Ms Dee. A lot of taxi and bus drivers in Seoul actually need a lot of orientation.