Podcast: Would you share a cab with a stranger?

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Oct 10
Inglês - Podcast Would you share a cab with a stranger

Hello, all. Hoje minha voz está diferente por causa de um resfriado… Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre duas experiências que eu tive quando dividi uma corrida de táxi com outra pessoa.


Hi, everyone. How are you? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to inglesonline.com.br and click Podcast Inglesonline.

So a couple of weeks ago I got off a plane at Guarulhos airport, near São Paulo. For those of you who don’t know, there’s a bus called Airport Service that will take you from the airport into the city (the city of São Paulo) for… thirty something reais. I’m not promoting this bus service and, for the record, I still think it’s expensive, but it sure beats the hundred reais or so you’ll pay to cab it to São Paulo.

Would you share a cab with a stranger?Anyway, I got off the plane, went through Customs for the passport check and picked up my two bags at the baggage claim area. Once I got out of the building, I headed straight to the bus ticket office. It was around 11 in the morning, and I was anxious to hop on the bus and get home. Then I heard the guy in front of me ask the sales assistant when the next bus was leaving. “In one hour and thirty minutes”, she said. Oh, oh… one hour and thirty minutes? The guy thanked the woman and turned around to leave the office. I did the same thing… I wasn’t about to stay there for ninety minutes waiting for a bus.

Then it occurred to me that that guy and I were standing in the same line, which meant he wanted to buy a ticket for a bus that would pass through my neighborhood. So if he and I were headed in the same direction, why not share a cab? I tapped the guy on the shoulder and asked him if he was going in the general direction I was going. He said he was, and then I asked him if he would like to share a cab. He immediately agreed, and we walked to the little cab booth in order to pay for the fare in advance.

So we took care of that, and then got into the line of passengers who were waiting for a cab. Not two minutes had passed before we were on our way home. We began to chat and I found out this guy was a publisher from Espírito Santo and he was in São Paulo to take care of some business. He was actually just starting out in the publishing business and he said he’d been keeping an eye out for work that would be a good fit for his publishing company.

So after we dropped him off, I asked the cab driver if it was a common thing for people to share a cab from the airport into São Paulo. I was totally expe cting the driver to say ‘yes’. I mean, the cab fare from Cumbica to São Paulo is over a hundred reais… Come on! That’s more expensive then some airfares for local travel inside Brazil. So I was surprised when the cab driver said “No, it’s not common at all for strangers to share cabs.” I asked him why he thought that was the case and he said that people were suspicious and scared, and they’d rather pay full fare than share the cab with a stranger.

When I heard that, I remembered something that happened in Rio de Janeiro not too long ago. I was leaving an event and I couldn’t get a cab… There were tons of people competing for a cab and even if you called a company on the phone it was no guarantee you’d get one. Finally I spotted a girl nearby hailing a cab, and when she was about to get in I asked her where she was headed to. It turns out she was going somewhere not too far from my final destination, and so I asked her if we could share. She kinda nodded and I got in the cab right behind her.  After five minutes in the cab, the girl looked at me and said “So… what is it that you wanted to to? Are you getting a free ride here?” And then it dawned on me that the girl had no idea why I had asked her to get in the cab. I explained to her that I had been trying to hail a cab for a while without luck, and I thought that since she and I were heading in the same direction we could share the fare. Her expression changed when she understood and she let out a sigh of relief. I apologized to her for not making it clear that I wanted to actually share the cost of the cab and she said it was OK.

So… what is your opinion on this subject? Would you share a cab with a stranger in order to split the cost? Would you be a little suspicious or even scared if someone approached you and asked to share the ride? Let us know in the comments, and I’ll talk to you next time.


thirty something reais = trinta reais e pouco

it sure beats = com certeza é melhor que

cab it to (some place) = ir de táxi até (algum lugar)

hop on = subir (no ônibus, no trem), entrar (no ônibus, no carro, na moto)

keeping an eye out for = de olho em

be a good fit for = se encaixar bem

where she was headed to = pra onde ela estava indo

she kinda nodded = ela fez meio que sim com a cabeça

hail a cab = chamar um taxi fazendo sinal (= flag a taxi)

it dawned on me = eu percebi, eu vi que

a sigh of relief = um suspiro de alívio



About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • ALINE says:

    I believe I wouldn’t share a cab.

    It hasn’t never happened to me but if I were, for example, in São Paulo I wouldn’t share!

    Perhaps in my city I would share. (I’m not so sure) rsrsrs

  • Tiago Rosário says:

    Hi, Ana. I almost went cold listening to this podcast! rsrs
    I have an question as well: você ganha dinheiro com este site?
    Não que eu esteja interessado no seu negócio. rsrs Mas eu fiquei com essa dúvida na cabeça. Eu penso que você deveria ganhar um bom dinheiro com este trabalho; você é muito merecedora. Bye.

  • EducadorZero says:

    I believe that we have to pay attention where we are and who we talk to (sorry if it’s wrong)

    I live near the airport and I’m sure that anybody can know if someone is a good or bad person just looking her/his face.

    Live is dangerous, always, but the fear shouldn’t stop our life.

    Feel free to contact me if you want or need to something next time that you’re here in my city. It would be a pleasure for

    me can help you.


  • Luis Eduardo says:

    Hi Ana, I have a question:
    “Once I got out of the building…” in this case “once” will be “after”? I learned that “once” would be “uma vez”.
    Thank you

  • iso says:

    I liked how you pronounce “rio de janeiro” thats makes me laugh :-))

  • robson s conceição says:

    I listened to his new post, and I’m laughing all, why work at the information desk of eroporto guarulhos. robson and my name be if you pass by here again, I would be very grateful to you talk to me because I’m a fan of your work ^ ^. and he helped me a lot, fought bye

  • Leônidas do Nascimento says:

    Hello, Ana! How’s it going?
    First of all, I thank you for your site. It really have helped me too much in my English learning.

    About this podcast, there is one thing I didn’t get pretty well. It is about “CAB IT TO… (same place)”. Could you give me (us) more examples about how use this phrasal verb (is that a phrasal verb, right??)?

    Once more, thank you very much and carry on this aid.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      A few more examples:

      We’re a bit isolated here, but you could cab it to the supermarket in case you need food.
      We don’t own a car, but we can always cab it to the city when needed.

      Não é uma estrutura que a gente costuma entender intuitivamente, eu acho.. precisa prática (=ouvir bastante) pra “pegar”, mas busque mais exemplos no Google e vc encontra bastante.

      Não é o q se chama de phrasal verb.. dizemos “cab it somewhere” ou “we cabbed to the opera”, etc. Busque phrasal verbs no site pra saber mais sobre eles.

  • @julianinhamatos says:

    I’m not really sure if I would agree with a situation like that… I mean, I’m very afraid of stranges around mainly when I’m at some strange place like another city. So, I do not know to fight back to protect me, so it is safer being calm down and pay a little more. Otherwise, like someone said aboe, I would absolutely accept if it was a woman or a mother with her kids or some eldery and good face’s people. Never a young guy, absolutely not!

  • Rober says:

    No! I’m afraid of someone wish something inside my pocket ! I prefer bus, because if they mug they mug everybody.

  • Eduardo says:

    i enjoy so much…hugs

  • Daniela Gomes says:

    So, I really don’t know, I think I would wait until the bus come…

    • Ana Luiza says:

      That could actually be a good thing too… especially in these days when you could catch up with email or something like that while you’re waiting!

  • Henrique J. H. says:

    Of Course I would! I live in the countryside of Santa Catarina, here, we just have got one airport.. so I usually do not share cabs.. BUT, on the other hand I’m always hitchhiking to go to near cities… So I see no problem taking cabs with strangers.. hehe It’s a little dangerous but, I enjoy the adveture!

  • Denis D'Urbano says:

    Here in my city Jundiaí-SP is really common, I already did it twice. For me it is totally a normal situation, is just two people that have the same direction to go and are trying to save some money. A cab is really expensive, so in my opinion is a intelligent idea, If someone ask me if I want to share a cab, I say yes at the drop of a hat.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      hey, Denis… yep, that’s how I see it too although I understand those who are a little suspicious…

  • Ane says:

    I would do that with conditions: if it is a woman, a woman with a child on her arms, an elder (male or woman) but NOT a male. Also we can use our guts and it, most of the times, works for me…

  • Débora says:

    Ana, first of all, I must say you’re a courageous woman because I wouldn’d do that. “No way!” That sounds like a good idea, but I would be afraid.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Débora,
      I think I’m more practical than corageous ;) and also… I kinda try to go with my gut like Ane said in the comment below.

      • Débora says:

        Oh, That’s true! It takes a lot of guts. I really admire people who can go with their guts. “Congratulations!”

  • George Louis says:

    Absolutely, I’d share a cab with a stranger, there isn’t any problem in doing it. I have never shared one but If someone asked to, there wouldn’t be no problem and we could split the cost. Big deal !!!!!

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