I had the craziest taxi experience the other day.
A friend and I took a taxi back from the IES center because we needed to get back quickly. So, we hailed a Petit Taxi like we did every day in Fez and got in. Completely normal.
We’d been in the taxi for two minutes when our cab driver almost hit someone. He slammed on the brakes, swerved to the right and honked all at the same time and managed not to hit the old woman walking across the street. This was not entirely the fault of the taxi driver. The woman was walking across the road (no crosswalk, no stoplight, nothing) and looking in the exact opposite direction of us. Instead of looking right and left, she just looked right and never stopped. So it was a miracle we didn’t hit her. This woman was understandably frightened when she realized what almost happened and she started yelling. The taxi driver yelled back.
And then things escalated quickly. Very quickly.
The woman spit at the taxi driver, somehow managing to hit him right in the face despite the fact that she was at least five feet away from him and had to spit through the open window. The taxi driver spit back, put the taxi in park in the middle of the street and leapt out of the car. He ran around behind the cab and next time I saw him the woman had grabbed his shirt with both hands, refusing to let go, and the taxi driver had ahold of her with one hand and kept raising the other hand as if he was going to hit her.
I pulled at door handle to get out of the cab only to discover that it was locked and that it was impossible to unlock the car from the backseat. We were trapped in the taxi, frantically trying to open the doors yelling at the driver and the woman to stop doing whatever it was they were doing. Just being trapped in a car is scary enough, but the crazy people about to get into fisticuffs behind us were enough to cause mild panic.
Luckily, some random passers by came to the rescue. It took three men to get the woman to let go of the taxi driver’s shirt and to convince the driver to get back in the cab, which he finally did. He started driving again and the only thing he said about it was “She’s crazy.” Which is true, but that doesn’t make him any less crazy. At one point, while we were stopped at a red light, he pulled out a kleenex to wipe the rest of the spit of his face.
It was one of the craziest things that’s every happened to me, and I don’t think that it’s possible to adequately convey the mixture of fear, hilarity and complete bafflement that I felt. I think for the next week or so I’ll be avoiding Petit Taxis.