THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

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During those grey days of Occupy Central when the movements of many not in the comfort of tents were inconvenienced, it almost became par for the course to be fleeced by Hong Kong’s taxi drivers. Their business had been disrupted and they were seeking “compensation.”

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Especially if in Wanchai late at night and with the MTR either closed for business or some of the mid-level area of the city not having any access to the MTR, taxi drivers would join the ladies walking the streets of Jaffe Road with a mantra of “No money no talk”. And what talked loudest was a starting price of $200 to get one from Wanchai to Caine Road- usually a $40 ride.

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Now, with an uneasy peace in place and unrestricted movement, many of Hong Kong’s taxi drivers are continuing their own Dirty Cloth Movement.

Try to get a taxi in Lan Kwai Fong, and they’re all lined up with that usual “signage” of a dirty cloth over their meters or else an “Out Of Service”sign. What makes them stir from their Big Sleep is seeing a hundred dollar bill waived their way. Even then, they stifle a yawn and make that hand sign to say, “$500 if I am to rev this baby up and take you anywhere.”

The police walk by, see what’s going on- and keep walking. They have their own problems.

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With tourists, especially, blindsided by this new tactic, and those who are willing to splash out even $500 for what used to be a $40 fare, what we have here is a failure to communicate and one more example of a city- a badly managed and mangled city- being held to ransom.

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