I don’t know what it is about the size of taxis in Panama
The space between the backseat & the front seat is always so tiny, that my feet are almost always scrunched up.
When trying to get out of the taxi it’s always a major event for me. Either the seat is so low I have to push myself up, or the door is so narrow it’s hard to get through it. You might think it’s the make of the taxi, but this happens with different makes & models, so that can’t be it.
Then there’s the doors that don’t stay open because there’s something wrong with them & I’ve already had my head crashed by a trunk that wouldn’t stay open when I went to get my things from the trunk.
Also there’s a lot of taxis that have no padding in the seats.
Unlike in Colombia (not sure if it’s the entire country or only certain cities as this expat was talking about Medellin), taxi drivers in Panama almost NEVER help you if you have a lot of bags, a stroller, etc. In Medellin I heard they help you in the taxi. In Panama I think I’ve been helped maybe 3 times in all the times I’ve taken a taxi. The driver usually just sits & waits as I struggle with all of my things. In fact, the pirata taxi guys almost always help me with my heavy bags.
Then there’s the reminder that taxis will do the following which irks me to no end even though I’ve come to accept it over the last 2 years:
- This just happened the other day in fact. I am standing on the road, the taxi drives up & has his window open. I tell the taxi driver where I want to go, he sort of nods his head which means, “yes.” He pulls up a smidgen to stop, & as I walk towards the taxi, he drives off.
Again people will say this is a cultural thing. I say that’s BS, they are just rude assholes here & so there’s no respect for anyone.
Why they do this I have no idea, it makes no logical sense to me, but nothing in Panama ever does.
- You can be standing in the pouring rain & they won’t stop. They will just drive by.
- There’s almost never any negotiating on price. If you say it’s too much, they won’t lower it.
- If they don’t know how to get to where you are going, you won’t find out until closer to the end of the ride & then they will jack up the price because of course Panamanians don’t take responsibility for their issues, it’s your fault as the customer that THEY don’t know where they are going.
This happened to me twice so far & the first time it happened I wasted tons of money on my cell calling the location I was going 2-3 times. They told the driver where to go & 3 times he got lost & he STILL charged me $5. If I hadn’t been a newbie back then, I would have just given him what I was supposed which I think was $2, & gotten out of the car. DON’T let them rip you off. Just walk away or threaten to call the police.
Of course this won’t work if your stuff is in the trunk & you need to get it out (sometimes I get out to get my stuff out first & then pay) or it’s late at night & you are in a secluded area. Then I wouldn’t take a chance.
- The AC is sometimes on very high in the taxi although that is rare. Most of the time there is no AC or they just don’t turn it on.
- The handles for the window are missing. The handles to hold on to above the window are missing.
On the positive side, the other day I got a taxi in front of Multicentro & guess what it was…………………..
WAIT FOR IT………………………………
It was a Prius. Can you believe that??? I’ve never seen a Prius up close & why would a taxi chance buying a Prius that’s going to get ruined within a month or two.
It was brand new & soooo cool. : )
It had a dashboard that looked like an airplane & the ride was soooo smooth.
I was in love & didn’t want the ride to end LOL