Every gay man Shanghaiist knows has a taxi driver story. It’s not the typical long-way-around-the-block taxi tale either. The details vary by person, but they all start at the end of a long night at a popular gay bar.
The best account finally explains why taxis have big plastic barriers between the driver and the passenger, and it’s not to ward off “psychos or drunkards without guardians”.
As my Caucasian friend — “Ennis” — tells it, it began like every other ride home as he climbed into the front seat of a waiting taxi outside of a gay bar. The friendly driver started the conversation by asking where he was from, and if he was in Shanghai for work or holiday. Once the pleasantries were out of the way, the conversation quickly took a personal turn with the cabbie asking Ennis if he’s gay and whether there is a boyfriend in the picture. The Dating Show questions continued as he quizzed on him if he was top or bottom, and if his boyfriend wakes up the neighbors when they have sex.
As the conversation heated up, so did the driver (in more ways than one) with the frisky old man maneuvering his hand under the plastic window to grope my friend’s leg and … other bits. In the end, the cabbie was so persistent, the guy ended up holding hands with the driver all the way home. A romantic end to the evening and just like a typical date, the driver passed his digits to Ennis.
Other gay friends’ stories end differently, with the driver inviting himself in to the fare’s apartment or even suggesting a quickie in the back seat. After hearing these kinds of stories, Shanghaiist will never view the stains in the backseat of a taxi quite the same way again.
Although, Shanghaiist has never found a person willing to admit they’ve accepted a taxi driver’s proposition, late night liaisons with Shanghai’s chauffeurs have become a weird badge of honor for the gay man. Some friends have even lamented that a driver has never hit on them! If you’re one of them and you’re looking for a special ride in the evening or to get more your 14 RMB worth on your way home after the bar, email Shanghaiist at shanghaifaghag at gmail.com for the phone number of Ennis’ driver!
BTW- Shanghaiist strongly advocates all types of plastic protective barriers and, apparently, so do some supermarkets in China.
Other brief gay news …
- On Friday, Shanghai studio had an art exhibit with photos, painting and videos curated by Hanspeter Ammann.
- G.O.D had their one-year anniversary party, Summer Pride, on Saturday night. Shanghaiist couldn’t make it out to a hard core party that night, but heard it was lots of fun.
- Finally, Shanghaiiist has been promised an invitation to the “friends of the bar” soft opening of the expanded Home bar next month. Will keep you posted on the details!
Photo from doggage.