Taxi Driver

I’ve found myself in one surreal situation after another since arriving in Brazil, and one of them happened on the day of the Christmas Parade, organized by the AMA Institue for children in and around Bragança. A youth wind band accompanied the procession along with a group of percussionists from AMA and, naturally, Santa Claus, in a car with 700 donated toys. I went along, even though I was playing a concert an hour or so later. Once the procession reached the square where the gifts were being handed out to a long line of expectant kids, I hurried back to get changed and grab a taxi. I had barely sat myself in the car before the driver suddenly stopped and stepped out, as he ”just needed to get some medicine from the pharmacy, it would only take a few minutes”. I panicked and with my palms together in a prayer, pleaded: ”Por favor, senhor!” explaining that I had a concert in only five (5!) minutes. He looked at the strange blonde girl and (Halleluja!) eventually decided to give in. Of course, this being South America, the concert began an hour late, as the wedding that was taking place before us was dragging on and on and on…

Furthermore, to take a cab in this country always turns out to be far more sociable than in Europe – more like a bar on four wheels, than a means of transportation. If you happen to be by yourself in one, it won’t take long before the chauffeur has filled up the spaces with people going in the same direction. Something to consider in this era of global warming?

Ps. It is definitely the first time I’ve been to a country where the taxi drivers actually charges LESS than what the taximeter says…! Incredible.

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Categories: January 2013 | Leave a comment

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