When we moved overseas to this huge city, we gave up our suburban minivan life and tried to embrace a new normal. Our main mode of transportation is walking, but once in awhile we take the subways and taxis. We avoid riding buses at all cost because it usually makes 3+ of us motion sick by the time we arrive to our destination.
The other day, we got ourselves ready to go to the park to meet our homeschool co-op for gym class. This park has real grass, trees, and nice open areas for the kids to run. It was a beautiful day, so I was excited to get out of the apartment and meet up with friends.
Usually, we find a taxi, tell the driver where to go and he knows directly how to get us there and it ends up costing about $4.
This day, we found a taxi in the usual taxi line. The driver was friendly when we got in (which is a huge plus) and he began driving. When I told him the name of the park, he seemed confused and it soon became very clear that he had NO IDEA where to go. He continued to aimlessly drive, called his friend for directions, and typed something into his phone GPS (while driving stick shift in the city traffic) and still seemed obviously confused!
Meanwhile the money meter was running and I didn’t really know what to do, so I just prayed he would find it without it costing too much for us.
He kept driving around and around on unfamiliar streets. Twice he exited these ramps that led to the highway…changed his mind…and literally stopped…moved to the shoulder and REVERSED off the ramp to return to the main street. I was pretty stunned at this point, but I still didn’t know what to do.
Should I ask him to let us off at a place that I am unfamiliar with and there is no guarantee another taxi will pass by?!
Then he started driving down this 2 way street. Impatiently, he decided to bypass the 4 cars in front of us and nearly collided with an oncoming car! He didn’t notice until we were a few feet away from the oncoming car because he was still looking at his phone trying to figure out his GPS!
Finally, the taxi driver began asking random pedestrians for directions. And after the 4th attempt, a man actually knew how to direct us.
A few minutes later, we made it.
He smiled…and I was charged double of what I normally pay.
Needless to say, I showed up to our co-op rather frazzled. Someone asked me why I looked so stressed out. I told the veteran ladies about our horrid taxi ride. They all tried to be sympathetic, then kind of laughed, and then reassured me that after a few more years, I will get more used to the taxi rides here.