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HPD Travel: Catching a ride

HPD Travel: Catching a ride
Vinay Patel

When travelling it is inevitable that at some point you will be required to catch that last dash cab to the airport or cruise soundly down to the beach in order to kick back with two for one happy hour. The more you travel, the more you realise the inevitability of problems arising during the ordeal, not to mention the dangers that have arisen with the taxi crime of 1980’s South America being especially notorious.

Essentially there are three important elements to address in order to avoid taxi mayhem. The first is the hailing of the taxi. It should be noted that in countries such as Brasil and Mexico, a vacancy light is in no way a reflection of the taxi’s ability or desire to be engaged. The appropriate etiquette is a hand held out while dramatically jumping up and down. This is to be immediately followed by a universal index finger gesture when said car passes.

Organising the fair is also incredibly important. Negotiating the price beforehand is invaluable, and a meter in Thailand is by no means a reflection of the price you shall eventually pay. Likewise, certain “Tariffs” shall arise should you be booking a taxi in Distrito Federal after midnight and it would be sheer idiocy to attempt to evade them.

Not getting lost is invaluable especially if you are rushing for that last biplane out of Calcutta. A yes or affirmative nod is not necessarily reflecting a clearcut understanding of where your destination is or how to get there. A mexican taxi driver will invariably be able to procur Mariachis, drugs, prostitutes, small arms and tequila for you at any time of the day or night, but is likely to get lost dropping you at the right terminal for you to catch your flight.

The longer we stay in a place the more accustomed we become with the local taxi rituals. nevertheless it is important to keep a sharp wit about oneself when affronted with the stark realisation that no number of maps in the world will help you and any further move forward will require the assistance of the gruff yet extremely sharp witted taxista!

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