Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Killer Clunker

Today is Dave's birthday.  I got him a nice present, and shipped it in our air shipment.  He'll get it in a few weeks.  And so, the girls got him a big thing of Nutella.  But the thing is, they didn't have Nutella at the store I had a ride to this morning.  And so, feeling strong, I put Annika down for her nap at 2:00, did a few of the naptime things I do, and then raced down the hill (on foot) to another grocery. 

It was a 30 minute walk, and so I arrived at 3:00.  I found the Nutella, asked the price, decided Dave is worth the largest size they have.  This all went quickly.  Then I stood in line for maybe 10 minutes.  There were 2 people in front of me, but there seemed to be some other business going on with the credit card machine, and then each of the ladies had some questions and some conversations.  Lines don't ever seem to move very quickly here.

Now its 3:15.  The school bus arrives at our front door at 4:00 and will only release the kids to myself or my husband.  The walk was 30 minutes down, which indicated to me that it would be more than 30 minutes up.  I waited 10 minutes for a taxi.  No taxis came.  At 3:25, I faced the hill and started climbing.  Quickly.

Now, here's the taxi story.  Each shopping center has their own taxi brand.  One particular shopping center has a very strong taxi brand, and if you see one of those out and about then you are safe to flag them down.  Otherwise, if you see some random car brandishing a taxi sign, its wise to stay away.  Likewise, we are actually forbidden from riding the bus or the metro.  As a sidenote, it feels pretty weird to be forbidden from anything at age 35.  But, when the Uncle who pays our paychecks, pays our schooling, pays our rent and guarantees our Rule of Law says to stay off the bus, I stay off the bus.

So, I'm climbing the hill.  I'm wearing jeans, because you never see ladies in Venezuela wearing shorts.  You only rarely see rather sporty looking guys wearing them.  I'm wearing slip-on shoes.  Luckily, I'm only wearing a tank top with the jeans, and I've got a hairband.  Because although 80 degrees is truly gorgeous from the breeze coming through my windows, it is stinking hot when you're climbing a steep hill in jeans and the equatorial sun.

I made it about a quarter of the way up the hill, constantly turning back in search of a taxi.  And that's when I saw it.  The killer car from the seventies, purring like a kitten up this mighty hill.  Now I don't know cars, so I can't tell you what it was.  But I can tell you that it had been mighty smooth in its day, it looked every ragged bit its old age, and it had a taxi sign plugged on top.

I thought two things:

Classic Taxis.  Awesome.

and also...

You could not pay me enough money to get in that taxi.

I kept walking.  And lucky for me, a reputable taxi met me just over halfway up the hill, dropping me at my home just in time to grab a bottle of water and meet the school bus.

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