Taxi and ATM Karma

I’ve wanted to write a posting about karma while traveling which I will do but a bit later after my trusty smartphone is fully charged! It was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt from the blogging platform, WordPress!

Categories : Daily Prompts, Topic Ideas

This just in: let’s pretend that science has proven that karma ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma ) is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CIRCLE.
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And yes, WordPress always signs off with Thank you for flying with WordPress! Reminds me of a vintage and defunct airline commercial.  It was called Hughes Airwest, the big banana, so called because the planes were banana yellow but another one.

Now to get back to the topic of taxi driver karma. To begin with, the green and white SMA taxis are everywhere roaming the streets day and night so you just never have to call one. You simply stand on the side of the road or the sidewalk and hail one just like in NYC. Gotta love that! Also the fares are mas o menos standardized and reasonable. 35 pesos for most trips with a 5 peso surcharge for night.

Sometimes the odd cab driver will impose a mysterious gringo surcharge of 5 pesos but not often. There is a taxi drivers’ union here and the distances and rates are standardized even if there are no meters. I was only overcharged once my very first day in Ajijic when I was waiting for a taxi at WalMart  with numerous bags of groceries. I must have looked like I just arrived from the Guadalajara Airport and was charged 100 pesos instead of the usual 50. Since 120 pesos is about ten dollars I didn’t think this was excessive and paid the driver, no hay problema. It was only after the fact that I realized that I had paid double the going rate. Never again.

And today, enroute to the Hotel Real de Minas my driver quoted me one price then ‘adjusted’ it enroute. Not kosher in my books. I told him en espanol that no gringa no quiero pagar mas! Mismo precios for gringas y Mexicanas!  The guy had lived in Texas for a couple of decades and thought he could pull a gringa surcharge. Not. He laughed at my badly accented espanol then kept to the original…y correcto…quote.

Overall, I’ve found Mexican taxi drivers to be honest, cheerful and helpful. Sometimes they don’t talk and sometimes I get a free Spanish pronunciation lesson on my way home or to escuela espano., I let them pick up their wife and kids on the way to where I’m going and don’t mind waiting for the backseat fare to get dropped off before I do. I’m on Mexican time and I like it!

Just once in the whole time I’ve been here in SMA and Ajijic did I encounter a rather snarly and at the end of the ride outright hostile driver.  This was during my last rather nasty bout of la tourista tummy. Things had stabilized somewhat but I m sure my energy aura was different because I flagged down a young driver who just couldn t find the Warren Hardy escuela despite all kinds of suggestions to the point where I was going to be a half an hour late. I wasn t feeling that great any way so I just asked him to pull over and I would walk. Well, he did protested loudly at the 35 pesos he had quoted me, grabbed by 40 pesos and lurched away from the curb before I could even close the door after jumping out. OMG.

I stood there stunned for a minute because this was certainly a new experience. Once, I snapped out of my haze I decided to play hookey from school and go and find a farmacia for a bottle of Pepto Bismal or the Mexican equivalent.  Honestly, I think there was some kind of correlation with my energy field and someone attracting a driver with no patience for gringas not feeling up to par and not paying attention to the streets going by.

I think the same sort of karmic effect can be said for Mexican ATMS. When you are just topping your supply of fun money no hay problema. But if you are really almost tapped out then the problemas surface. Suddenly, the trusty ATM you used since you arrived tells you to come back every five minutes…six times. Or el banco that previously was compatible just today isn t. But wait!  Try the ATM machine right beside the uncooperative one and you see the cheery directive on the screen. Tomar su dinero.  Okay, don t mind if I do. For the most part, I like to keep a 500 peso bill tucked into a separate place in my wallet and forget about it so IF for whatever reason or absolutely NO reason at all I go to five, yes five different banks and their ATM machines release not one single 100 peso bill I am not at a loss to hail down a cab to my casita and await the change in the mysterious tide of functional and non functional machines. Fortuantely, I have both a bank card AND a prepaid MasterCard from my bank which usually does not work but the last time my bank card did not work anywhere the MC card had the magic stripe that the machine recognized to dispense those colourful plastic Mexican bills.

Go figure!

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