Friday, January 13, 2012

Car Talk

One time going from Caraz to my site, a 7 minute moto-taxi ride, I once had to take three different taxis, and didn’t pay for a single one. The first taxi ran out of gas a few blocks down the road. The next taxi’s clutch broke, and the third’s taxi was shuttling a highly inebriated man (keep in mind it was already 10 in the morning), who got in a fight with the taxi driver and then paid for both of us to prove whatever point he was trying to make. The point of my story is what I learned: if the taxi stops working before you arrive to your site, you don’t have to pay (the same thing applies to street food: if the stove’s gas runs out before your food is cooked, you can just walk away).

So think about the next situation, I’m in the combi going from the capital city to Caraz (2 hour ride) and the while we are waiting for a people to load up at a market half way between the two cities, and the front driver side tire blows… if you do the quick math you’d figure, I’m half way there, so I’ll get out grab a different combi for the remainder, and pay half of what I was originally going to pay, right? Right, unless the combi driver is smart and refuses to take your mochila (backpack) off the top of the combi before he changes the tire. That’s what happened to me in the following picture, which I snapped while horns were blaring, the driver fumbled with the tire in the middle of the traffic jam, and the rest of the passengers happily walked away knowing that they just a free ride (albeit only halfway) :

This next picture is one that I just had to get off my bike and take, because I can really sympathize. The back story: One summer I was hauling loads of gravel to our house from across town in our truck. To make a long story short, on about my third trip, I decided to be greedy and have the front loader fill the truck up to the brim. Luckily he stopped before I told him to, because it could have broken the truck,  and the drive across town was a scary one, as it felt like the front tires were floating a few inches above the pavement, especially after I hit any little bump.  Therefore, when I saw this poor truck, I knew what was in store for the driver. Hope he made it.