Making An Offer No One Could Refuse

, , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

Around fifteen years ago, I am traveling around India with a friend of mine from graduate school. He is Japanese and I’m a white male from the US. It is the last call at the bar, and it is time to head back to our hotel. We summon a taxi and are on our way.

I am a little nervous because the ride is taking longer than I anticipated; something about the driver seems shady. My suspicions are confirmed when, halfway through the trip, the driver asks if we want to meet some girls.

Prostitution is not a slap-on-the-wrist crime in India. But since we are foreigners staying at a very fancy hotel — the kind with security out front — he knows we have money. Also, at the time, Japanese tourists have a reputation for being inexperienced travelers and for not being able to hold their liquor.

I tell the driver no thanks. The driver won’t take a no from me as a final answer, so he directs his question to my friend, who just laughs. The driver asks him again.

Friend: “What?”

He looks confused.

Me: “[Friend], say no.” 

Driver: *Loudly* “Do you want to meet girls?”

Friend: “I don’t understand!”

Me: “[Friend], say no!”

Driver: *Yelling* “Do. You. Want. To. F***. Some. B****es?”

There is a pause.

Friend: “Ohhhhhh! No, thanks!”

He laughs.

The rest of the very circuitous trip is spent in silence. I am on edge, but my friend just seems drunk.

When we get to the hotel, the driver announces the price, which is at least twice what it should be. I am about to go ballistic on the driver when my friend holds up one finger, indicating for me to stop, and speaks, dead sober and with a smile on his face. 

Friend: “You have a choice. You can either take [two-thirds of what the fare should be] and go away, or I’m going to go speak to the police officers over there by the front door, and I will tell them exactly what you offered us.”

The driver took what my friend offered.


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