After taking lessons on ‘how to get a taxi in Bogotá without getting blackmailed’, I was finally confident enough to get a taxi yesterday. On my own. I wasn’t planning to take a taxi but circumstances dictate that I had to go for the quickest option. You may be glad to know that I did it at 2pm, according to rule number one of the lesson – never take taxis from the road after dark.
I took advantage of my foreign-looking face, jumped into a hotel and asked the reception to help me call a taxi to ensure that it was double safe. After a 10 minute wait, I got on the taxi, checked that it was pretty normal (except that it worryingly didn’t have the price list hanging on the back of the front seat.. Fyi here in Bogotá you pay according to a metric of prices in relation to distance travelled). Then, I didn’t wait for another moment before I texted the taxi plate number, the taxi unique identifier, and the taxi radio station number to someone I knew. Yes, in this city you have to move around with triple cautiousness.
I tried to stay awake despite having one whole pizza that was being digested in my stomach. I struggled and snoozed. Then I got awoken up by Britney Spears Baby hit me one more time! Despite how many of you may say that I was listening to trash, I really enjoyed the familiarly of a tune that I grew up with (sadly, rightly or wrongly?), while in desperate need of human touch when the taxi stormed through the strange city. And then I thought, who cares about dignity and decorum? I started singing the tune. I was loving the moment even though the window was wide open (taxis and all public vehicles always have their windows open to save fuel) and the black combustion of busetas was flooding in! Nice! I sang aloud. The taxi driver must have heard me and knew that I liked the song, so he turned up the volume, and before I knew it we were having a Britney Spears party on the taxi! It was ultra-cool when I realized later that it wasn’t the radio but it was his Pioneer DVD machine that was playing Britney’s concert on a mini screen!