Hot travel tip: When you’re in a city that you don’t know and you can’t read or speak the language, make sure your taxi driver knows where he’s going BEFORE you step in the car. In this case, I though I had it covered because I had the name, address, and a map of the destination that I showed to both the hotel concierge and the taxi driver and got affirmation that the taxi dude knew where he was going. In retrospect, I don’t think either of them understood the question meaning we had no assurance of reaching our destination in a timely manner.
Thus a colleague and I hopped into the taxi enroute to our office here in Beijing. 34 kilometers, 68 yuan, and an hour and twenty minutes later, we made it to the office. That’s only because one of our software engineers was able to direct the clueless taxi driver to the right place. Later it was indicated to me that the driver may have been playing stupid to up the fare. Could be, it started to get a little hairy there for awhile because my Mandarin language skills aren’t up to the challenge of navigation…
In any case, it’s been a good world-wide trip and I’m anxious to return back to home and hearth.