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The Taxi and Society

I feel myself starting to form a thesis, of sorts, based on analyzing cities via their taxi system, and just as importantly, the taxi drivers. In a place like Mexico City, one has to demand that the meter be turned on (and further should watch the meter to make sure it is not running out of control). In New York city it has been rare for me to be able to start up a conversation with taxi man - whether it be because of a language barrier or just a plain barrier.

So far Montevideo has passed the Taxi Test, as it will now be called.

1) the meter is turned on promptly when the ride begins
2) you don't need to make sure a taxi is really an official taxi
3) the drivers, for the most part, have been very talkative - after one ride I sat in the backseat chatting away about what I thought of Montevideo for 5 minutes
4) taxis stop for pedestrians - this is a norm, along with a wave to cross the street

And now I introduce my horizontally-orientated Uruguyan girlfriend. In this clip, she is a bit upset with me for some reason. I ask her what she thinks of me. Her reply...a narcotics officer.


Wally said...

You might edit the comment that "taxis stop for pedestrians" to read (a bit more accurately) "taxis stop for pedestrians who are stupid enough to step in front of a taxi". And to be fair, all cars stop for a pedestrian in the designated (they have white bars on the street) intersections.

Dominic said...

You're right - I have been VERY impressed by the cars stopping because of a crosswalk. Sometimes they don't even do that in my hometown (in California)!

Taxis have been stopping for me before I am in their path, and give me a waving motion to pass them. Every time it happens I realize that life here is a bit more "tranquila"!

ecotectura uruguay said...

hmmm... taxis and cars stop for pedestrians?? u must be living in a parallel universe/city... or u didnt notice there was some traffic police/inspector nearby... ;) and about their "honesty", its correct for most of them... but i recall one trying to give me the change for a 50 pesos note, when i gave him a 500 pesos one... that was after he heard me talking to my german girlfriend in german, tho i had told him in perfect montevidean where to go... just ONE case, but still... salud, c.