Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Taxi Adventure

We landed in Buenos Aires and began the fun process of switching from the domestic airport to the international airport, which seems to be located in Chile for how long it takes to get to it.  It would be equivalent to driving from Houston Hobby Airport south of town to the Intercontinental Airport north of town.  The only difference is that unlike the land yachts that populate Texas highways, Argentina seems to only feature cars that aren't large enough to hold our skis.  Drivers always insist our six foot long skis will in some mysterious way fit in their trunk.  Apparently folding down part of the back seat is a huge taboo here, because it is like pulling teeth to get cabbies to do it.  We finally convinced this guy to do it, and even then he had to slide the front seat way forward.  This left 2/3 of a back seat for Scott and I to squeeze in to.  If only this were the best part of the story....

We departed the airport heading in what seemed like the right direction, which was a huge improvement over this morning's taxi.  Halfway along the drive, the skies opened up into a down pour.  Seeing some of the other traffic slow down or pull off to the side of the road, our cabbie took advantage of increased space and accelerated to 70 mph.  A few hydroplanes later we arrived at the airport.  Unfortunately the cabbie forgot to turn on the defrost and the entire inside of the cab was steamed up.  This made navigating difficult and we ended up in a dead end.  No matter...he made a left, and a right, and a left, and ended up in this narrow fenced alley with a dead end.  Any normal driver would have put the car in reverse, but not super-cabbie.  He tried a 3 point turn that turned into a nine point turn with two solid hits to the fence.  We then roared back the way we came.  This includes heading back onto to the main highway, this time with us facing dozens of headlights closing on us rather than taillights.  The cabbie yelled "Aye!" and quickly veered left, ending up right where we started the ordeal of getting lost.  Note to and cabbies reading this blog: it may be useful for your career to know how to navigate your local airport!  The cabbie tried a different path through the uncharted territory and ended up within view of the drop-off point for departures.  Unfortunately, it was about 200 feet back up a one way street.  No problem for our cabbie: learning from previous success he just turned the car once again against traffic and pulled right up to the departure curb.  Scott and I unloaded our bags as the driver argued with a police officer.  This ordeal made the Drake Passage seem like an incredibly safe portion of the trip.  Next up: our adventure in the International airport.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, you are assuming he was able to put the car into reverse. Quite likely, the gear was stripped... But alas, this sounds pretty typical of cab rides there.