Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Taking a cab as a blond-haired, blue-eyed joven speaking with an accent-laced Spanish is not always a walk in the park. Taxistas have tried to overcharge me. They’ve tried to drop me off at a destination other than what I’ve asked for. They’ve started to drive away with my suitcase. They’ve insulted my nationality. They’ve hit on me; one even claimed that taxi drivers in Spain are like doctors and lawyers elsewhere – every girl’s dream guy. But what happened today was a first for me.

I was in a cab on my way back from an appointment this afternoon when my taxista missed his turn. I wasn’t even paying much attention. He immediately apologized, saying, “I should have turned there. I’ll turn off the meter until I get us back on track.” Huh? What? I was left speechless. I didn’t even have to complain. It came from the goodness and the decency in him. Or perhaps from the fear of getting yelled at – Spanish women tend to have a bit of a temper (and I mean that as a compliment). Regardless, he took the next exit, got us back on track and told me when he turned the meter back on.

Is it worth noting that my taxista was not Spanish? I’m not sure if that had an impact on the whole exchange or not. My accent is noticeable, for sure, but could it have gone unnoticed on the ears of another foreigner? Or was he just a decent guy? Or both?

Thanks to ADN for the foto.


Ashley said...

That's so interesting....the most interesting point of it seems to be that we seem to expect the worse out of people in certain situations, and when someone is an honest, decent person it's surprising. Why not the opposite?

Do they tip cab drivers in Spain?

Good picture for your post.

Amy said...

Thanks, Ash. No, they don't tip too much here. Some people round up to the nearest euro. Others don't tip at all. I almost always do, but it depends on the length of the trip, the price, and the service.

It's possible that cabbies are like this everywhere, but the only place where I have ever taken them on a regular basis has been here in Spain...