Mr. Ton drove me to the airport today in his luxury car. Which didn’t fit too closely with my own primitive standards of luxuriousness. Still, it was a big black SUV, rode up high, was clean, spacious and comfortable. It was also neither new nor was it old. Truth though, it was certainly several degrees of automotive quality above and beyond most of the other little taxis you find in Phuket.
Mr. Ton was not the first person I had asked to drive me. Coming out from the hotel I negotiated a long circuitous gauntlet of drivers. All their cars were clean and ready to go, but each one, for a reason I cannot fathom was hideously overpriced for the distance I had asked them to travel.
After several attempts of trying to come to some kind of sensible transaction with a scruffy scrum of cabbies, shielded behind dark glasses and puffing on cheap Thai cigarettes, I simply moved on to find a different thicket of hired cars accompanied by a different set of indifferent drivers, and try again.