HOW I HATE THIS RIDE: You have probably ordered for a ride and well, it goes on just fine but the only problem is that your driver is talking. He’s talking throughout the ride that he has already told you about the girls that dumped him to those he has given free rides.
One of the best things to happen to non-car owners in Uganda was the introduction of ride-hailing services. The Ubers, Bolts and Lyfts of this world changed life for the better. However, it also came with its own share of drivers. If you’ve called an Uber before, then you’ve definitely encountered many of these;
The ones who intentionally delay the trip
In a bid to make more money off the trip, some drivers will pull off a number of tricks. One of these involves using the longer route. If you are heading to Naalya from Ntinda, don’t you be surprised when the Uber uses the Kireka route to Naalya. Some have even gone a step ahead to instal fake GPS apps. If all this fails, they will look forward to those moments in traffic jam and will always do their best to be caught up by the lights. If your intuition suspects that you’ve landed on one of these, then you must take over full management of the trip.
The ones who never have airtime
Now these ones are a special lot. They will never call. They will accept a trip then wait for you to make the first call to confirm that they are getting closer. Once at the pick-up location, they will wait for another call just to let you know that they’ve been waiting for years.
The over-talkative ones
After a long day, all that one needs sometimes is just a peace of mind. And peace of mind means some silence. But you will land on a driver that insists on starting a conversation even where none exists. They will try to interest you in their other life. They will insist on knowing what you do for a living, they will ask about the friend you just dropped off. No matter what happens, they behave like they’ve known you for years. They will claim to have a history of everyone around town, from all the powerful people, their side dishes and their unknown children.
The mute ones
Next to the over-talkative ones are the ones on mute. They will never say a word. You will open the car, and they won’t even give you a smile. At some point, you may doubt that you’re in the right car. All through the journey, they will act like somebody put them on mute. Not to rain down on introverts, but you don’t want a person in silent mode to be the one to drop you off in the night.
The ones who just can’t figure out directions
Although their apps come pre-installed with a GPS function, it turns out not everyone is well-versed with it. Of course, if it’s areas such as Bulindo, you may not blame them a big deal, but some just can’t figure out directions. Driving with these people means you’re going to be turned into a GPS. They will be asking you about when to make the next turn every 4 minutes. You can drop all kinds of landmarks and they will still have no idea about the destination.
The perfect driver
Have you sat in a car and felt uncomfortable? And this is all because the driver is looking over-qualified for the job. First of all, the car is overly neat. He’s smartly dressed and he speaks his English with an accent. At some point, you’re almost tempted to ask that you exchange places. Because from the look of things, everyone would mistake you for the driver. If you are a man, you don’t want to have your girlfriend dropped off by such drivers.
The ones who hate credit with a passion
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Credit is one thing that doesn’t seem to work in Uganda. It could be that Ugandans mistrust anything that is built around a promise. It is all about the physical cash for most drivers. Some drivers are bold to ask whether you’re paying with cash or credit. Your response will determine how quickly they get to cancel the trip.
Others will accept the trip but should they realize it’s a credit trip, they will end it half-way and claim to have a mechanical problem. If you want a fruitful life as a passenger, then you ought to desist from credit while using these apps.
The ones with temper issues
If you’ve not argued with an Uber driver, then you’ve not used many of them. There’s a special class of drivers that just quickly flare off with their temper. If you can’t tell them where you are going, they won’t come to pick you up. If you dare delay to enter the car, they will drive off. They will whine and complain about everything. They have no sweet stories about clients. They just can’t wait to exit this job and deal with more interesting chaps. Be careful trying to start a conversation with a hot temper, they may nit-pick and interpret your jokes as some form of insult.
The old guy aka taata
Meet those old guys that just remind you of your father? It almost feels like having your father drop you off after a Friday night out. These are the kind you can’t even ask to play more blazed up music. You will rather leave their rosary radio session uninterrupted. Often times you end up tipping them and praying that they don’t end up dropping their own campus daughter. For it could be the struggle to get her tuition that sent him into this trade.