On Thursday Nia and I took our first taxi cab ride (our car won’t get here for 3 more months). Sounds simple, but as with most things in a 3rd world country, it proves to be far more difficult than it appears on the surface.
The first thing to note is that most cabs don’t have seatbelts and I’ve been told that many people just opt to hold their child in their arms while they ride. I’m not so keen on that, so I had to call a specific cab company known for nicer vehicles and ask for a car with seatbelts (in Spanish, of course). I had a whole script written out and it went surprisingly smoothly. (Note: We are strongly discouraged from taking random cabs off the street, as they are frequent crime locations. We’re supposed to use cabs off a recommended list from the Embassy and call them to come to our location.)
20 minutes later a car pulls up in front of my house. The problem: This car is completely unmarked and doesn’t even have a meter in it. In fact, there is no sign at all that it is a cab other than the fact that the guy says he works for said company.
I panic for a moment, trying to decide if I should get in this unmarked car with Nia. Seems really sketchy to me. There were guards on the street corner nearby, so I attempt to ask them if this is normal and since they seem fine with it I decide to take it. For security precautions though, I asked the guard to write down the license plate number. He did and then even went so far as to pull out a video camera and record the guy’s face. Impressive, huh? I’m pretty sure the cabby was quite irritated with us by this point…
My gamble paid off, we made it safe and sound to our destination with Nia buckled into the back seat. I was pretty damn proud of myself (remember, it’s all about the small wins here). I celebrated my accomplishment with lunch at Chili’s and then Nia and I took a nice stroll by the ocean.
I should have known things were going too well. I go to call up my cab company again for pick-up. MAJOR COMMUNICATION FAILURE. For some reason I couldn’t figure out what the woman was asking me and then she’d get frustrated and hang up. I didn’t know what else to do though, so I called by three more times hoping at some point she’d figure out what I needed. Wishful thinking on my part.
After several failed attempts to get a cab, I eventually resigned myself to walking the 60 minutes home with my not-so-happy child. It’s days like these I need to be gentle on myself and stay focused on what I did accomplish instead of what I messed up. It’s all to easy to get down on yourself, but that makes infinitely harder to get up and try it again the next day. Gotta just keep reminding myself that it’s baby steps…