From October until late January I all but had my own personal drivers in Medellin, Colombia. What I really mean is that I used taxis all the time, whether after a party at 4AM or to a disco at 10PM. At all hours of the day I could call a taxi to pick me up or walk a block to a busy street to flag one down. There is very little that is more convenient than getting around in a taxi.
I prefer this even more than if I were to have my own car. It’s probably a little more expensive than a car at between $2 to $8 for the least to most expensive ride in Medellin. But the conversations can be worth it. I’ll admit at times its frustrating to have to speak to the driver when all I wanted to do was stare into space. The same conversations, over and over again, are pretty typical.
What are you doing in Medellin?
Do you have family here?
What do you think of our women?
What do you think of Colombia?
But I also have some more rewarding conversations on occasion. Sometimes its the type of conversation where i’ll exchange phone numbers with the driver and shake his hand before exiting. In just a few months I was invited to a driver’s birthday party, to play a weekly game of soccer, over for dinner, and other exciting offers. When going through the process of extending my Visa in Medellin my driver insisted on waiting half an hour before the bank opened to make a deposit. We went for coffee while waiting.
I really like the aspect of not having to park. As an impatient person at times I think it’s wonderful that I can jump out of my taxi at any time.
Now that I am home visiting family for a week in the USA I find it so difficult to get around without my own car. What I wouldn’t trade to have my own personal driver here.