The Terrible Taxis of Seminyak

Catching a cab is one of my least favourite things to do, they’re smelly, slow and nine times out of ten, a complete rip-off. An uber devotee, I was slightly lost in Bali without their service, and without a clue as to how the taxi system here works.

The taxi’s (taksi in Indonesian) are one of the first things you notice in Seminyak, because they are EVERYWHERE. The streets are filled with an army of blue cars (the colours themselves quite delightful), driven by the most ambitious cabbies I’ve ever seen.

It’s impossible to walk down the street without a taxi beeping you, shouting at you and sometimes even pulling over in front of you to offer their services.

As annoying as it is, these crazy cabbies do get a merit point for actually being Indonesian: anyone who has been to Australia will know it is a novelty to have a local as a cab driver.

Obviously though, it isn’t all roses. It is nothing short of harassment the way they yell out, and the beeping is sure to drive me mad soon, sometimes they even go so far as to serenade you (not as nice as it may sound).

They go to these lengths, because there are a lot of them who are not real cabbies, driving people around at exorbitant prices, because they can, and it is a way for them to make some money.

There are two key clues to look for when jumping in a cab, firstly, if ask if they have a meter, if the answer is no, then your answer is no.

Secondly, keep an eye out for a company logo, usually emblazoned on the side of the car. Rarely will you see a cabbie in a uniform, so don’t stress yourself out looking for a logo on their outfit. “Bluebird group” is usually your safest bet!

With my usual distain for catching a cab, I’d really recommend hiring a tour guide driver to take you around to do your sightseeing. But in the inevitable case that you’re walking home from dinner or drinks in the middle of the night and a taxi is necessitated, remember those two points, and you’ll (hopefully) get home in one piece.

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