Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Mexican Memoirs: Taxi drivers - A universal problem!

Published:Monday | October 17, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Guadalajara, Mexico:

Buenos dias amigos!

I am now wishing this XVI Pan American Games was taking place in an English-speaking country.

Taximen are giving me a flogging in Guadalajara and I do not know the language well enough, or have the time, to haggle with them.

The fare for the same trip, my hotel to the Main Press Centre, is now varying between 70 pesos and 90. It all depends on whether the car has a meter or not. Then, even if the car has a meter, some taximen have decided that certain trips should cost a certain sum despite what the meter is displaying.

A game of give and take

Now meters are based on a combination of waiting time and distance travelled, so in this congested central Mexican city of approximately 4.5 million people, I know that I am not going to get around very fast and charges will vary. However, travelling by taxi is, to my mind, a game of give and take. When 'el trafico' is not as heavy, like at nights or Sundays, I expect to be 'taking' not 'giving'.

On Friday night, I noticed that my young driver deliberately drove in a pedestrian manner to Guadalajara Centro and 'kill mi dead' he was doing it to get some extra pesos. The meter eventually settled on ochenta (80) pesos. From now on, I have decided that, meter or not, I will only pay one price (the one charged on my first morning here, 70 pesos) and this will be finalised before I get into the car.

I have not had some good food to eat since I have been here. No, I am not hungry, but much of what I have seen is not to my liking. Tacos are not my idea of good food and I have not had the time as yet to seek out a restaurant to my liking.

For now, my main dish is a pollo (chicken) sandwich . The chicken I have had is not very tasty but it will suffice for now. I am not one of those adventurous persons when it comes to food. On trips like the current one, I will seek out some dish which is to my liking and then have this every day for the duration of my sojourn (20 days on this trip).

Hasta mañana.