Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Tico taxi

Tico taxi with station wagon behind.

Taxis are the most expensive way to get around town and you can also wind up looking down the barrel of a loaded gun pointed at you by some dipshit trying to rob you. When picking a cab, you have to be careful you get someone that looks reputable, has a permanent taxi sign on the roof and the car number painted on the side. If you have the luxury of planning ahead, you can call for a taxi which is pretty safe. Once you hail a cab, you have to know more or less what it costs to get where you’re going. The taxis don’t have meters so the taxi drivers quote you a price which you then haggle down a couple of Soles. The fares will increase if it’s rush hour or late at night.

Funny anecdote (because it has a more or less happy ending) – a couple of friends of mine were coming back from a discoteca after a night out and needed some late night munchies. The boy was passed out in the back and the girl told the taxi driver to take care of him while she ran in to pick up some burritos (yes, there is a late night burrito stand in Lima but they’re not good-ole-fashion burritos made by real Mexicans). When the girl came back out, the cab was gone along with the friend. The taxi driver woke the boy and dropped him off somewhere safe. As the taxi sped off, the boy realized his I-phone had been stolen. They may have got his wallet too but I can’t remember. Of course we had to give the guy a ration of shit and laughed at him for being a dumbass but it could have easily had a not so happy ending.

Not-so-funny anecdote - A friend was coming back from a concert with some Peruvian friends and did all the right things you’re supposed to do while hailing a cab. She, unfortunately, wound up getting robbed at gunpoint and got dropped off in a shitty part of town sans wallet and cell phone. Fortunately she had a little cash stashed away and she and her friends somehow made it back home safely.

The cabs here may not have the leg room or climate control of a good old American cab. But at least they don´t smell like curry and body odor.

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