|Maxi taxis - not fun!|
I am not a fan of public transportation. In London, it is better than many places but still, I leave early to avoid what I call the armpit crush of London, i.e. having to stand on a crammed train with someone's armpit against my face, or if I am lucky to have gotten a seat, having to sit with someone's ass against my face.
Public transportation on my little rock though - abysmal. For most of the mini-vacation, I have had use of a car to go on my adventures, but I have had the moments of madness where I had to brave the streets by hand, i.e. sticking my hand out to flag down a taxi or maxi.
Last Sunday, I decided to exercise my rights as a poor student and refuse to fork out the ghastly $345 fare from Piarco to home. Instead I chose to maxi/taxi it all the way home - a ride that involved 2 taxis and 2 maxis. First, it was the maxi ride from Arouca with the driver who probably never heard of Colgate, flossing or mouth wash and who clearly did not realise that his breath was so heinous that my Japanese titanium glasses frames almost melted everytime he opened his mouth. This dude kept talking and talking and my eyes kept watering. Then there was the taxi ride from Curepe to San Fernando where this swami looking character or as he called himself, a spiritual counsellor, decided he would pass out flyers promoting his services as a counsellor to the soul. Nothing wrong with that. What I did not appreciate was him putting his hand in my handbag as he tried to push this flyer into my bag, and maybe help himself to some money (?). Needless to say, I did not use swami like language to make my point that he needed to not be all up in mih so and so bag!
Friday was the worst as I decided I would take the public bus home and everytime I asked the bus terminal attendant for an ETA on my bus, he responded "5 minutes babes...5 minutes". It was the longest 5 minutes of my life and after an hour I still saw no bus and was forced to pocket my ticket and walk to the taxi stand. That was another drama cause by this time I am fuming and brother man decides to take a back road, pick up some woman with bundles that could not fit in the truck thus displacing me from my comfy seat in the back and asking me to sit next to Mr Not-so-Delicious in the front. Then the smells from the man in the maxi from San Fernando to home.
Yesterday was another winner as I got a taxi driver who clearly thinks he is God's gift to women - greasy face, body odour and all. Just a side note: Trinidad is a damn hot place and being a taxi driver is bound to be a heated experience. Please...invest in a tried and tested roll on, and some mouthwash for good measure. And also wash your clothes after one wash - dried sweat smells, okay?
Anyway, he decides to make some phone calls, despite the fact that it is illegal to drive and talk on the phone, especially when going at least 40km over the speed limit. The first call went something like this:
Wha yuh cook?...Nutten?...I doh wanna buy food. I fed up eat Chinee food and roti. I passin' just now. Make sure it have food there when I pass.
What a charmer. But then he makes another call, to another woman. Trust me when I say the fact that he even had ONE woman was shocking to me, but two???
Babes, I brokes. Buy a phone card for mih nah. A Digi....What? Yuh cyah do that for your man? $10? That cyah call nobody! Buy it and text mih the number, right? .... Yeah, yuh know I love yuh.
Knight in shining armour! And all this time his eyes are sometimes on the road and sometimes on the chest of the cute lady in pink in the front passenger seat. I also had to ensure I had the exact fare cause he kept picking his nose and I did not want to hand him a $10 bill and have him finger my change with that hand, so I dug around desperately praying I had the $7 I needed to escape that fate.
Private transportation also has its own challenges as I learnt last night when we were locked out of the car and had to call the troops and enlist the assistance of strange men to assist. However, being the germophobe, hygiene anal diva that I am, it beats any challenge public transportation can ever hope to offer. If hating the smells and sounds of public transportation make me some kind of diva, then I am a rabid, ball busting diva!