Thursday, January 14, 2010

To Hades in a Taxi

Miz Boom Boom got invited to an expats party, one that involved traveling to a new neighborhood with which she was unfamiliar. Here is her night of adventure:

Dear Reader,

It seemed simple enough ... dress up in my best party clothes (including heels) and hail a taxi to take me straight to the door. Nothing is simple in Buenos Aires. Nothing. Have I not learned that by now?

I carefully walked to the corner and began in earnest to hail a taxi with its "Libre" light on. Taxis zoomed by with their lights off, indicating passengers. Suddenly, in the next lane, a beaconing "on" light! Can I catch his attention? If I step into the street .....

I stepped into a puddle of mud, sinking my new tango shoe into the filth and upsetting my balance causing me to flail and pinwheel my arms for balance and yell, "Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch!" to the horror of two teenagers who stepped away so I wouldn't glob onto them for support. No, I didn't fall, but it was close.

This was just the beginning of a stellar night. My next taxi driver was a cheerful "No Englaise" Columbian with cumbia music blaring from his radio. But when I showed him the address, he kept repeating in a disbelieving voice, "Capital Federal? Capital Federal?" like I'd asked him to drive me to Hades.

Don't worry, I assured him. I'll pay. So what if it's a 20 minute trip? Ah, wrong.

The driver pulled over to a street and pointed to it. This was probably my street and he couldn't drive down it because it was a one way. No problem ... I can walk a short distance in my heels. Then the bastard took off.

I was in the middle of no where and this was NOT my street. I called the party giver to ask him where I was. "Goddamn these taxi drivers," he answered, "He dropped you at the city limit. They don't get paid if they go outside the Capital Federal." Can I walk 10 blocks to his house? Not in heels, not even on a good day.

The next driver didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, as they say in Detroit. He drove round and round, talking on my cell phone to the party giver who was trying to pull him in like a vector guiding in a jet at JFK.

We arrived 15 minutes later at a palatial mansion on a quiet street.

But THAT story is for my next post.

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