Tag Archives: Taxis

Taxi Mafia… otra vez

22 Nov

I had another experience this morning I couldn’t help but share.  Further continues my fear and provides more evidence for my mafia theory.  Basically, our driver was in a BAD mood, for whatever reason.  So he decides to take it out by driving like a complete maniac.  I mean some of the most aggressive driving I’ve ever seen in my life.  And here in Mexico, I’ve seen a lot.  A car in front of him is driving normally, even perhaps going the speed limit (gasp!), and our taxi driver was having none of that.  At every chance he got he tried to pass him and was inches away from doing so, but could never quite succeed.  He started making gestures at the driver and tailgating him to the point of centimeters.  But that wasn’t enough, so he called in his taxi mafia thugs.  He got on his radio and started describing the car, and telling everybody to go after it.  He even yelled and motioned at another taxi in front of us to go after him.  The poor driver, who really didn’t do anything wrong except drive like a normal person, probably got attacked from all sides.  It was insane, but just another day in the DF.  I was never so glad to get out of a taxi in my life.

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Don’t mess with the taxi mafia

12 Nov

These guys are for real.  I had a few experiences today that have led me to believe that in Mexico City, people take their taxi mafia very seriously.

Point numero uno:  I was waiting patiently in the loooong line at metro Tacubaya for the “taxis colectivos,” or shared taxis.  The deal is, four people pile in these tiny cars, pay the driver 20 pesos each (about 1.75 US) and he (or very rarely she) takes you and your nuevos amigos all the way to Sante Fe.  It’s a good deal, but these guys drive like maniacs.  And the whole shenanigans is run by the same two guys who are there at Tacubaya every day (god knows when they get there, probably about 5am) and decide which taxis get to pick up passengers and which don’t.  The taxis are all pirate taxis (unregulated) and they all pay these guys off to let them participate in this ghetto system.  Now this is all completely normal so far.  This is just how things work in a country where 40% of the population participates in the informal economy and where the government has better things to do then regulate silly taxi lines.  But it gets worse…

mexico-taxi

Now to set the scene even more, you need to picture pure chaos.  Basically Metro Tacubaya is a major transit hub, home to two metro lines, tons and tons of buses, and bustling market scene.  Oh and there’s even a Ferris wheel!  Just imagine people running in all directions, buses almost running the people over, and tons of vendors yelling about their candy for only 5 pesos a piece.

So there I was, in the pinche fila, when I happened to notice quite the commotion going on down the road.  Basically three women tried to avoid the long line and hop in a taxi without dealing with this whole mafia-run system.  Bad idea.  As I said, don’t mess with the taxi mafia.  The two guys that run this joint both became involved, pushing the women away from the taxi, attempting to drag the one who had managed to jump inside out, and yelling lots of bad things at the driver.  Apparently he hadn’t paid the mafia his dues.  At this point, another women managed to jump inside, but after that the guys slammed the door shut and started kicking the taxi, which sent him driving off in a huff.  The poor third senora was left with the two thugs yelling all kinds of terrible things at her, and as she walked off (presumably to attempt to meet up with her friends and the taxi), they continued to physically attempt to stop her, telling her to go take a bus.  As I said before, don’t mess with the taxi mafia.  Or any mafia in Mexico for that matter.

To top off my taxi experience today, I had the pleasure of being driven home (in another shared taxi, although the mafia and lines in Sante Fe aren’t quite as intense) by a driver with ONE ARM!!  I repeat, my taxi driver had one arm.  Now before you start thinking, hey I could drive with one arm, that’s no big deal, let me explain something.  First of all this car was a stick shift, and secondly traffic is completely insane here.  I could not get over this guys skills.  He also got me to Tacubaya in record time (a mere 30 minutes) and took us on all kinds of back alley adventures through the ghetto to avoid traffic.  Maneuvering down tiny alleys, shifting gears, making sharp left turns… all with one arm and the left one to boot (he had to reach way over to change gears).  Mexico, you always amaze me.