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2014-12-16
A Wild Ride - Taxis In Panama City, Panama

Riding a taxi in Panama City can arouse simply as numerous emotions as a free fall roller coaster ride, but at only a dollar a pop. Similar to the roller coaster, you can expect to jerk from left to right, feel your stomach drop, tense your muscles and squeal with excitement and/or fear in a Panama City cab. Like most cabs, especially in third world countries, the ride can make you fear for your own lifetime. But, there are many unique characteristics about a Panama City cab ride. ECP airport

Exterior and Interior of Taxi

Though rumor has it that all taxis will be yellowish (like New York), it's still possible to observe the vast array of shapes, styles and sizes managing the streets of Panama City. Some are new and air conditioned, while others seem as though they may be have survived a serious fire and numerous robberies and from 1970.

The outside of taxis possess a significantly higher number of dents and dings than other cars in Panama City. Taxis motorists have one aim when working, to get the passenger to their destination so that they can pick up another passenger, hence raising their cash flow. Thus, taxi drivers don't seem to get exactly the same reservations about making incredibly high-risk moves, and consequently getting in more injuries. The speed in Panama City is not so fast that there's any serious damage, but the remnants of the failed attempts are blatantly evident. And, once the initial damage has been incurred, what is another dent?!

The interiors of cabs can bring a smile to nearly anyone's face. The interior decoration of Panama City taxis nearly always includes a football or flag (not the American type) dangling from your rear view mirror, or the space in which a rear view mirror should be, only obstructing to make things fascinating. In the United States and other like countries, our idea of what a car wants to work in order is comparatively superfluous compared to Panama. I mean, is an inside extremely crucial for driving? Absolutely not!

Many people complain about the sound population in the roads of Panama City. But if we listen carefully, it is more like an urban symphony. Some honks are the typical "beep beep," while others are comparable to the whoops and whistles of guys trying desperately to get the attention of a pretty girl, or the whistle you teach your Cockatiel Pretty Bird. Either way, it's obvious that taxi drivers proceed to a great deal of problem to personalize their horns and feel a particular sense given they exercise the right to honk at every available chance.

Conversations with Drivers

Among my favorite pastimes in any foreign ecosystem, and in Panama, is chatting with all the locals. It is irrefutable that among the best ways to become acquainted with a culture is by interacting with the natives, in their mother tongue. In Panama, taxi drivers offer an interesting and amusing interpretation of life in the city. My dialogues with them normally start off, "Are you Swiss? You look such as the girl from the hot chocolate!" Then, after clarifying that I am not from 19th century Switzerland, we embark upon a certainly vibrant conversion, sure to be the subject of dinnertime conversion ( in case that it's suitable). Cab Panama City beach

A particularly exciting day was when I took a taxi driver on a goose chase with me to repair my car battery. A passenger was already in the taxi after I was picked up, as is a normal daily event in Panama City. So, I hopped in the front seat and we were on our way. This kind of passenger, a woman about 60 years old, was certainly a foreigner, most probably American, European or Canadian. Shortly after I got on board, we arrived at her destination. She handed the motorist seventy five cents, and all fares are at least one dollar. The driver said in heavily accented English, "One dolla'!" I turned around and interpreted, "One dollar." She spat back, like the driver, in heavily accented English, "He took me around the whole city!" Obviously, she felt as though the motorist had taken her on a while goose chase with the hopes of pulling a fast one. She leaped out of the taxi and soon disappeared from our sight after listening to her brief, heated explanation. So, the driver gave up and we left for my destination. On the way, he muttered to himself about the "whats and whys" of the recent situation. After five minutes of being stuck in traffic and the driver leaning over me to throw his eaten meal out the window into a garbage can, our rapport had obviously gone via the roofing, and he began to inquire about why my "paisana" (countrywoman) did such a horrible thing. "Does not she understand I need to eat?!" So, I explained to himself that, although she wasn't my "paisana," foreigners usually execute the cab protocol born from the etiquette of their mother land. Another day, another dollar for him, as well as a miniature talking to regarding the ethnic differences between one state and another.

It is not a dull day in a Panama City cab.

Mona Sutherland graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts. Now, Mona is the Search Promotion Specialist. Initially from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mona is finishing an MBA at the University of Lousiville and moved to the Republic of Panama to pursue particular entrepreneurial efforts.
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