Topics include Dining Scene, Jordan: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Renting a car is a great idea, petrol and parking doesn't cost that much! Do not expect organised driving though, always buckle up and go crazy like them. But taxi's are not that bad if you know your rights and are careful not to get ripped off. An American expatriate who has lived in Amman for a long time, and takes about 50 cabs every month. estimates that 90% of the drivers are decent chaps, but the other 10% are scoundrels and can create a miserable travel experience. Don't worry about hailing a cab, they sure let you know they're there! A cab will normally beep when they go by. But there are lots of places to catch a taxi just like England.
To avoid getting ripped off by a taxicab driver, you should know the following:
1. The driver must turn the meter on. If he says it is "broken," or it "needs to be reset for benzene" get out of the cab and hail a different one.
2. There is no such thing as a "hotel taxi." Many ordinary yellow cabs hang out around the major hotels, claiming to be "hotel taxis" and charge exorbitant rates. The bellhops and concierges of the hotels are in on the scam. These cabs never turn their meters on, and will quote fares up to 5 times higher than what should be charged. To avoid them, simply walk away from the hotel a block or two and hail a cab there. A genuine hotel taxi should be more like a limousine -- a different kind of car and not the usual yellow color.
3. Prices in Jordan, including taxi fares, are shown to the third decimal place. When you first get into a cab and the driver turns the meter on, the meter should read 250 or .250 . This means 250 fils (also called 25 piasters), which is only 25% of a Jordanian Dinar (JD). One dinar is represented by 1000 or 1.000 . Some sleazy cab drivers take advantage of tourists who do not know this -- telling them that 1000 means ten dinars, instead of the correct one dinar. In the early summer of 2008, the initial charge was raised from 15 piasters to 25 piasters. However, some of the meters have not been reset to reflect this higher initial charge. It is legitimate, in this case, for the taxi drivers to ask you for 10 extra piasters on top of the quoted meter fare. But you should always note what the initial fare is as soon as he turns the meter on.
4. Carry plenty of 1 JD notes, and save coins for taxi rides. Taxi drivers will always grumble if you try to pay with a 5 JD note, and they may refuse to make change from a 10 JD note. Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but if the fare is close to a round number (say, 1.750) it would be customary to round up (in this case, 2 JD).
5. All taxi drivers are required to display a card either on the visor or in the windshield, on the passenger side, with their photo, name, driver number, and license plate number. Many drivers, however, do not display this card.
6. If you believe that you are getting ripped off, note carefully the date and time of the trip and the driver number or license plate number(preferably both), and file a complaint. The telephone numbers and email address on the display card with the driver's photo do not work. Instead, call 487-4310 x273 (this is a land line) or 077-719-6196 (this is a mobile phone). The person answering speaks little English, so it's preferable to have an Arabic speaker call. They may ask you to fax a written complaint. The fax number is 489-1397.
7. August 2009: There is a new taxi company in town. They have grey taxis with an advertising on top of the car. They are relatively new cars. Generally speaking the grey ones are a bit more expensive, at least for tourists. The grey ones give a more trustworthy experience, and are therefore recommendable.
The cabs are plentiful, but always be careful with your belongings. make sure you check the cab twice when you exit out of it. Renting a car is a good idea if you are a good driver. There are many rules and regulations so make sure you know them as well. Even though no one follows them Police always know who are the tourists and who are not.