Saturday, 07. March 2015
31. 07. 14. - 16:00
A British tourist in Romania was hospitalised after he tried to take a video of a taxicab license plate whose driver charged him almost 10 times the usual rate for a trip from the train station to his hotel.
Michael Shaw, 39, was furious when he realised that instead of paying 1.50 GBP which was the usual rate for the six kilometre trip to his hotel in the central city of Brasov, he had been charged almost 10 times as much.
He said: "I went into the hotel and when I was checking in and I mentioned that I was surprised that the taxis in Romania were more expensive than back home. When I found that I should have paid around 1.50 GBP instead of 14 GBP, I was pretty furious."
After leaving his bags at the hotel, he had grabbed his mobile phone and had taken another taxi back to the train station to look for the rip-off taxi driver.
He said: "I found him there, but suddenly he did not speak any English and ignored me, until I went to take a photograph of his licence plate which point he shoved me and then punched me in the face. He hit me several times after that even when I was on the ground."
The British man ended up being treated in hospital for deep cut above his eye and bruising and his next trip in a taxi was to the local police station to make a complaint.
He said: "Perhaps I should have left it as I'm now having to spend my holiday dealing with translators and making statements to police and attending identity parades instead of enjoying the trip, but I was just so furious that people seem to seek tourists as cash cows that they can rip-off and if nobody makes a stand, it's going to continue."
A police spokesman said: "We are investigating, but at this stage we are not even sure if the suspected taxi driver involved in the fight with the British man was the same one that apparently ripped him off in his trip to the hotel."
With its central location, Brasov is a popular location from which to explore Romania, and the distances to several tourist destinations including the Black Sea resorts, the monasteries in northern Moldavia, and the wooden churches of Maramureș are similar. It is also the largest city in the mountain resorts area, and its ancient old city is very well preserved with a cable-car to the top of the nearby Tampa Mountain.
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