Hmm, I’m going to have to start figuring something out.
Normally I don’t get ripped off by parata taxis (other than that one scare at the very beginning), but 2 days in a row now I’ve been ripped off.
Now I know you will say BIG DEAL, as it’s only 50 cents, but for me that’s a lot right now & it’s also the principle of the matter.
The first time was on Sunday around 11 pm. There were NO parata taxi drivers anywhere around where I normally get mine to Vacamonte. I’ve never been in the city on a Sunday taking a parata taxi back home, so I didn’t know if this was normal or what.
Finally one came, & when he dropped me off at home, he wanted $3, instead of the normal $2.50. When I asked WHY, he said, “because it’s Sunday.”
I wasn’t going to argue even though I’m pretty sure he was bullshitting me as the minute I opened my mouth he knew I wa a Gringa.
Then tonight this idiot took the 2 other people home before me & both areas I’d NEVER seen before. I assumed (stupid me) that ALL the cars there in that same area go to Vacamonte, but usually I’m dropped off first, or at the very least second.
Once this guy dropped those other 2 passengers off, he didn’t know where the hell I was supposed to be dropped off EVEN though I had told him before we even left Panama city.
After he drove around over & over again & me repeating the same landmarks (obviously I couldn’t tell him where to go, I was lost & I speak no Spanish), he FINALLY got to the right spot & SUDDENLY knew where my complex was.
When he drops me off, I didn’t have quarters, so I had to give him $3, & the idiot took the whole amount telling me it’s because he drove around & around. I said, “YOU were the one who didn’t know where you were going, that’s not MY problem.”
I don’t know if I had this blog up & running when a REAL (sort of real that is, it wasn’t his full time job) taxi driver in Panama city did the same thing. He couldn’t find the area of where to drop me off. Even after the place gave him directions 2 times via my cell phone (that’s money) he was still lost. He charged me $5 on a $1.50-2 fare.
I swore at this parata driver tonight calling him a thief & here’s his plate number – 557671. He drives one of those yellow cars that looks like it’s a taxi, but it’s not.
I knew when I was in Riba Smith I should have gotten coins. Normally I don’t have a problem getting change back, but it’s been happening more frequently where they take the whole amount.
Oh another example, one taxi driver tried to tell us that me putting the push cart in the trunk costs 25 cents more LOL
I don’t get too angry as it is small change, but it’s still not right.
Oh & just so you know this is probably ALL because I’m a Gringa & not a local, on the way into the city a woman had to get out of the parata taxi well before we hit the city. She was getting off in Arraijan still & she gave him $1 & he said no change & she said, “NO CHANGE???”, so he actually gave her back the entire $1.