When traveling abroad in Europe, beware the Speak English Tax
These impressions can be found primarily in the ethics of Prague cab drivers.
Being a young, white, English-speaking male, I’m seldom discriminated against. The world pretty much caters to us. But as a tourist in Europe, speaking English often suggests ignorance to the lay of the land, hence making you an easy target to be ripped off.
In Prague, I’ve come to the conclusion the taxi industry has a Speak English Tax. If you get in a taxi and tell them where you want to go in English, they are allowed to charge you as much as they can get away with, sometimes double or more.
Having taken numerous cabs to places by myself or with other English speakers, then again to the same places with Czech students, I have enough data samples to conclude it’s a statistical probability the cabbie will likely try to screw you as much as he thinks is possible.
Simply asking for change back can result in a very sticky situation, as I discovered Friday night.
The good news is Prague’s public transportation is cheap, efficient and easy to learn. Should you be in town, take a moment to grab a map and learn the routes. The money you save could probably fly you back across the Atlantic.
So if your travels take you to this neck of the woods, you’re a native English speaker and are considering hailing a cab, beware Sputnik’s launch probably cost less than your fare across town.
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