Thursday, August 25
Yanji has taken another step towards civilization. Cabs are now required to use their meters! Since I've been here, I've learned how to bargain a taxi rate before I get in. Yesterday, I learned that the drivers are actually expected to use the meters that are in every taxi anyway. So last night, coming back from downtown, one of the girls first asked the rate to take us back to school and he said 10 yuan. That's the usual rate at night from downtown, so we got in. Then, we remembered that we could ask him to use the meter, so we did. He didn't want us to use it, so he said it didn't work, but we insisted. It was only 7 yuan, but then as we sat and he tried to get us to pay 10 like he said at the beginning, it went up to 8. So, we paid 8 and he acted like he was giving us a deal. The great thing about the meter system is that it won't matter that I'm white (which usually makes it harder to bargain) and it won't matter if it's raining or if it's night time, because taxis will always be the same rate! What a concept.