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June 5, 2010

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Wad of cash flabbergasts cabbie

ZHOU Wei, a Shanghai taxi driver, would like to find the foreign passengers who gave him too much money for a 31-yuan (US$4.50) cab ride, about the equivalent of US$300 too much.

On a trip to the World Expo site on May 31, the two middle-aged passengers, a man and a woman, first tried to pay with a foreign bank card.

Zhou, 31, who knows little English, tried to tell them that he couldn't accept a card as payment for the 20-minute ride.

"I just said 'No, no' to them," Zhou said.

They stuck a wad of bills in his hand. But while Zhou again said, "No," they left the cab and melted into the Expo crowd. They didn't take a taxi receipt.

"They could be found nowhere," Zhou said. He then counted the money: 25 US dollars and 2,000 yuan.

"I was stunned then," said Zhou -- so stunned that he didn't stop the passengers immediately though it was obvious he'd been handed too many bills.

The driver turned the money over to his company, the Shanghai Bashi Taxi Co.

He was concerned that he'd be accused of taking advantage of out-of-towners.

"I really do not want to see others misunderstanding this as my overcharging them," Zhou said.

His employer is impressed with Zhou's honesty. "No one would have known if he had tried to keep all the money in his pocket," said Lu Baoliang, an official with the company.

Zhou, who has been driving a taxi for five years, has a good record and no complaints from passengers, according to the taxi company.

"Apparently he is a good Samaritan," said Wu.

Note: If readers have any information about the passengers, please dial 54309300, the hotline of the Shanghai Bashi Taxi Co.


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