Whenever I ended up in a Taxi, I’d chat with them. Most of the time they looked cheerful and happy, but it appears behind that face is a miserable life. Counter Punch recently posted an article by Louis Allday who interviewed taxis in Kuwait, below are the first few paragraphs extracted of the article, it’s an interesting read.
“Over the past week I have had countless conversations with taxi drivers in Kuwait City. These drivers hail from a number of different countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Yemen. The overwhelming majority of those with whom I spoke have been in Kuwait for over 10 years (over 20 in some cases).”
“All of them stated to me very matter-of-factly that life in Kuwait was not happy for them (“I live 50% life”, one of them said succinctly) and explained to me that they were only there to work, in order to provide for their families and to be able to put their children in school. Most of the men said they had never been to school themselves, many had come to Kuwait as young teenagers and started manual work of some kind immediately.”
“All the drivers told me that they must pay a daily rental charge to the companies that own their taxis, yet they remain responsible for all the expenses of running the car including petrol costs and any maintenance work that is needed. Several explained that this rental charge must be paid every day, regardless of whether they worked that day or not. Therefore, the drivers rarely, if ever, take a day off, and are forced to work 7 days a week, and – according to many of them – 13 or 14 hour days in order to make enough money to cover their living costs.”
To read the entire article click [here].
Update: Based on a lot of feedback I’ve recieved after writing this post, here’s the breakdown
- Taxi’s in Kuwait are apparently way better off than taxi’s in other countries
- They’re usually rude when it’s an expat customer
- They never put on the meter and instead overcharge the customer