Taxi Nazi: No Taxi For You!
La Boca is a sketchy place at night. We knew this. However, because all of us think we are above danger, we took buses there. Stephanie arrived on her own while Ayngelina and I walked together. As we wandered the poorly lit streets and avoided shady characters hiding in the shadows, Ayngelina and I realized something.
This is exactly the kind of stuff we tell our readers NOT to do.
We made it to the restaurant just fine but we decided that we should be safe and get a taxi to take us back to a safer area where we could catch a bus home. I called Radio Taxi and used my phone name, Teresa. (Rease is a weird name everywhere, but Argentines have an incredible amount of trouble understanding it so for phone situations, I simply say my name is Teresa).
We get into the taxi and I made sure the meter started where it should and settled back into my conversation with Ayngelina and Stephanie. We spoke rapidly in English because as long as I know where I am going, I have no problem letting the driver know I am foreign.
When we arrived at our bus stop the meter said $19.30. I handed the driver 20 pesos and kindly told him he could keep his coins, which are hard to come by here. He turned around and took just a split second to long to think about what he was about to say. It was so clearly rehearsed. He informed us that we actually owed him 3 pesos more because we called the cab.
Luckily, none of us are fools so Ayngelina immediately started exiting the cab as to avoid any potentially ugly situations. This was obviously not my first time being scammed so I confidently argued with him in Spanish:
“No. I am not an idiot. I am not a tourist, I live here. When you call a cab you must have a minimum 12 peso fair, ours is 19, I gave you 20, goodbye.”
I could still hear him arguing as we exited the car. As Stephanie slammed the door I gave him one last assurance “No soy una tonta! Vivo acá y no pago más!” (I am not a fool, I live here and I will not pay more!)
This should have been the end of it. His scam failed and he should have just moved on. Of course, that’s not what happened.
The three of us walked to our bus stop and proceeded to wait. The driver followed us, pulled up next to the stop and rolled down his window.
No Taxi For You!
As this man continued to yell at me, I bit my lip, trying not to laugh. He looked as if his head would simply explode as he screamed at me
“You are not an idiot, you are a bitch!”
It made me laugh that he felt the need to note that my intelligence has nothing to do with it. Thanks for that, taxi man. I continued to repeat myself, telling him to move along, that I would not pay him a cent more.
This scammer was angry. He screamed at me:
“You will not call Radio Taxi anymore! You will not get taxis! You cannot call for taxis!”
I managed to yell a quick “go to hell” at him before I cracked up laughing. You will not get taxis? Seriously? Obviously that man did think I was an idiot if he thought that threat would work. No more taxis? Oh my goodness please let me pay! I simply cannot be banned from taxis in the entire city of Buenos Aires!
So, let me get this straight- you, taxi driver scammer, are going to radio in to all your taxi buddies. You will then describe me to them: female, short, dark hair, dark eyes, tan skin (otherwise known as a typical Argentine female). You will tell them my first name, Teresa, which was a fake name in the first place. Perhaps you will use your secret spy equipment to track my prepaid cellphone. Oh yes, I can see how bad this is going to turn out for me.
Of course, this Taxi Nazi was all talk. Yes, it was only 3 pesos, but it is the principal of the matter. The scam was offensive, but this man’s persistence was downright comical.
So, here’s to you, Taxi Nazi- No Scam For You!