We had another encounter with "black taxis" in Shanghai just before we left.
After having done some shopping and eaten our dinner in the Super Brand Mall near Jinmao Tower in Pudong, we walked out of the door with our shopping to look for a taxi. That was about 10 O'clock at night.
We found something strange out there: many taxis parking along the street in front of the Mall waiting, at the same time, many people like us are waiting for a taxi. From the previous experience, I realised that it would be a tough night again in terms of looking for a taxi.
I decided to test the water anyway. So I walked up to the nearest taxi - the driver was standing outside leaning against the door. "Are you going?" I asked. "Where do you want to go?" asked he. "Xizang Road, just on the other side of the tunnel". "80 Kuai" he quickly answered.
What? The normal taxi rate is 18-20 Yuan from the Mall to my apartment, he was asking for 4 times of the normal price. Now I completely understand while so many people were waiting for a taxi while so many taxis were right in front of them.
The story is not finished yet ...
We walked to Shangri-la hotel nearby and caught a taxi from there after ten minutes' waiting. As soon as I told the driver our destination, he started to mumble to himself with an angry tone. I ignored him. Just before we got off, he suddenly turned around his licence tag which is placed in front of the passenger seat next to him. It didn't take long for us to find out why: before we got out of the car, he angrily said "I could have charge you at least 50 Kuai if you got on from the Mall." Luckily we had the correct change for the fare so he couldn't rip us off.
So he might have seen us in front of the Mall and regretted that he had taken us from another spot where he couldn't charge us a premium price. And all the way he was angry with us and with himself, now just before we got off, he had to let his anger out.
We got out of the car after his anger venting and left the door open, that always annoys taxi drivers.
We have noticed that it has been getting harder and harder to catch a taxi in Shanghai, especially when it rains and at peak hours.
So if you do not have a car in Shanghai, get prepared for "interesting" encounters with taxis.
Later when I talked to a friend in Shanghai, she told me that because of more fees being charged to taxi drivers, they are having a harder time than ever making money. Maybe that explains the current situation in Shanghai.