Sat | Sep 23, 2017

That stubborn Uber driver ...

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe

The first day of competition at the 2016 Olympic Games went by quietly - well, as far as I'm concerned anyway.

The competition aspect of the Games start for me and the rest of us with a Jamaican interest today, with Alia Atkinson, Timothy Wynter and Toni-Ann Williams getting things started.

I'm particularly interested to see Toni-Ann's performance here, and I'm fully expecting Alia to get us a medal in the 100m breaststroke.

I must say that my favourite part of Brazil so far has to be the people. I'm yet to meet someone who was rude to us or anything like that. Maybe it's the whole Olympics thing, and I'm pretty sure they aren't all saints here, but you can tell that although things aren't exactly golden here, the people of this country are genuinely, generally pleasant.

They have been willing and helpful - well, except my Uber driver today.

I mentioned a few days ago that we have been strongly encouraged to use Uber as opposed to regular taxis. I get the impression that is relevant advice for the tougher, grittier area where we spent our first five days or so here, but things seem a bit more 'above the law' here in Barra.

So I had an interview appointment brought forward and had to get from my hotel to the Olympic Village in less time than I had budgeted for. Uber, at the time, seemed a better option to the bus; non-stop journey as opposed to the much slower bus.

The Uber arrived in a minute, but what should have been a 5-10 minutes journey amazingly lasted one hour and a few minutes ... and considerably more money!

If they had Uber's cash option here, he would have gotten some coins as his fare!

Uber drivers here tend to be disciples to Google Maps or whatever navigation service they use, not taking into consideration that many roads have been repurposed or closed and that their apps won't necessarily show the changes.

The stubborn bredda just wouldn't listen as I tried to give him directions.

The interview was eventually rescheduled, but I might have to take the steering wheel the next time I request a Uber here.