Thursday, October 29, 2009

A little more on Mexico City taxi drivers

This statuette was on the taxi driver's door on the way back from Bilbao School last week. We had a little trouble with the taxi driver on the way to the school that day--Rodolfo is a nice guy, but like most taxi drivers, he's sure of his "shortcuts." The English coordinator at the school gave us very specific instructions on how to get to the school. She was clear: if we followed these directions, it should take us 40 minutes and cost 6 pesos in tolls. Rodolfo thought otherwise, so it took 2 hours, through winding streets, behind deisel buses, up and down the hills, and of course we were late. Thank goodness Vivian was understanding. Still, Alberto and I wanted to apologize, so we offered the school an extra session. The taxi driver gave us no such concession.

So on Tuesday, our other regular taxi driver, Pedro, picked me up at 12:15, so I could be at Bilbao School at 2:00 for a 2:30 workshop. Forty minutes? Nope, almost two hours and 27 pesos in tolls, because he knew a better way. He asked for the same pay as Rodolfo the other day (which was high), and he asked me to give him an extra 50 pesos for his lunch. I have no idea what he did for lunch, but I certainly didn't pay for it. Alberto had agreed to the fare, but I would have liked to have paid him less.

Neither of these fellows is a bad guy, but as I've been told more than once, some taxi drivers are not above trying to get a bit more out of unsuspecting customers if they can.

Oh, well. The workshop at the school was very fun, for six teachers. They joined in willingly and asked lots of good questions. Since I seem to be writing a lot about food, I'll also mention that we had tasty crab salad sandwiches and pan del muerte, a special sweet bread for the Day of the Dead. Yum.

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