Are you in a hurry? Then don’t take a taxi


Just another day on Bogotá's Autopista ('Highway')

Just another day on Bogotá’s Autopista (‘Highway’)

It’s counterintuitive. You are running late. You need to get to your meeting asap. You originally planned to be frugal and get a bus. It’s a very short distance so the bus wasn’t gonna slow you down. But then you’d have to walk 7 minutes to the bus stop, and unlike Germany, there’s no way to know when this haphazard bus system will send you a bus.

So, you have to make a quick decision about the route and the means of transport. As you trot along the street you try to seek out the empty taxis, which isn’t easy because unlike taxis in other parts of the world, there’s no light/sign that indicates its availability. When you see an empty taxi, you secretly hope that it’s free because the fact that it’s empty doesn’t mean it’s free or it’ll take you. There’s no way to know what sort of system is used to determine which passengers to pick up. I don’t think it’s the looks..

You flag it down and pop the question. You got the answer that you were hoping for. It’s a YES!! You jump in. Then, you realise that you have made the worst decision in your life. You realise that you’re stuck. There’s a coil of cars. Nothing’s moving. The traffic light you’re trying to get cross turns green every 1 minute to let 3 cars pass. Then you realise that the 3 cars right in front of you have been trying to turn right for the last 3 changes of light, except that they’re not moving! So you desperately try to understand why these cars won’t budge (at the same time your left brain tells you that you’re not going to move them by solving the million dollar question).

So, after 10 minutes sitting at one junction you ask yourself what you’ve just done. And just at this moment you found the culprit – turned out that although the 2-way road junction has got a car parked just right at the junction, blocking 1 lane. Stupid f f f basta*d in his white car. In fact the city is halted to a standstill everyday because of these stupid f*cks. Yes there’s no better way to describe these asses who just don’t give a f*ck, who think that the world evolves around them and so they’re legitimately doing the city justice by holding up the traffic.

Long story short – you took a taxi thinking that it’d be quicker but actually it’s 3 times slower. Walking is the best in Bogotá. Or cycling if you aren’t afraid of getting killed by one of these gigantic SUVs with shaded windows, driven by yet another stuck-up chauffeur who works for a politician and therefore thinks that they own the roads.

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