Monday, May 25, 2009

giving directions

while my family was here we took many cabs, something i don't do often.

taxista #1
he let 5 of us pile into his cab (safety issues don't exist). he said it would be 5 pesos more. fair enough i thought. he drove from plaza de mayo to palermo. he veered off of Libertador. this made me nervous. where was he going? why did he turn off the street we should be on? my family knew no different but i was skeptical and a little nervous. (in general taxistas are not to be trusted). i asked the taxista why didn't he stay on Libertador. he gave an excuse like, it's one-way (which it isn't) or construction.

taxista #2
a lady let us pile 5 in her taxi after we got the argentine wag of the finger by 3 previous taxistas. i told her where we were going (say in the north east direction). she started to drive west...and west...and west until i started to yell in spanish "turn right, turn right". she obviously took the LOoOoNG way

taxista #3
this time i had learned my lesson. i sat in the front seat of the cab and gave SPECIFIC directions how to drive. "make a right on this street, then a left on this street then a right...." We got to our destination the most direct way.

taxista #4
again i told the driver how to drive. he said he couldn't make a left on the street i suggested, so i told him ok, but only one block, no more. i then asked him where he was from, made a comment about the town and then let him know that i live here and it's my neighborhood. again, we had no problems.

so, lesson learned. always know where you're going and give the taxistas specific directions.

a student of mine told me a story, it happened 8 years ago to him, where he was in the back of a taxi and two guys got into the back seat with him (one on each side). then the taxista (who was probably in on it) drove to an ATM. one thief stayed in the car and the other hit up the ATM. my student said he was unhurt. the thieves even gave him 20 pesos to get another taxi home. he told me to always lock the doors in the cab. also, everyone tells me never never never give a taxi a large bill. it's known that they do the switch-er-roo with the bills. for example, you give him a hundred pesos, he looks at it (switches it) and tells you it's a false bill, then you give him more money and now you have a 100 falso.

For all these reasons I'm happy that I found one good taxista who I'll always call. I didn't use him for the above situations because it was last min that we wanted to take a cab.


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