Taxi Pirates

We did not manage to leave Caracas today. After trying to get a rental car since Saturday, we wanted to take the bus to Barquisimeto today at 11:30, but we didn’t manage that either, because everything was booked. So we went with our heavy bags not far from the bus terminal to the acquaintances of Antonio’s father in Chacao and asked to leave the bags there, which worked out nicely. Then we went to Hertz (the third time in 3 days) and finally managed to reserve a car for tomorrow morning at 9am.

In the afternoon we went to the Museum Bellas Artes and saw an exhibition ARTE POLITICA, with works by Picasso and Gabriel Bracho, Luis Chacon and photographs by Luis Molina Pantin. Free. Photos of it are here.

Very interesting today were our experiences with the cab in Caracas. In the morning Antonio went to the street to look for an official cab. I waited at home with my luggage. We were warned very often to take only cabs with the yellow license plates because there are many “cab pirates”. Their only goal is to rob customers or to carry out “express hijackings”. So we are always afraid of driving a cab.

Well, this morning, when we were sitting in an official cab, the cab driver confessed to us that he only stopped at Antonio’s place because he doesn’t look like a local but somehow different. Otherwise he would not have stopped. Because there are many fake customers who only get into a cab to rob the cab driver or, if he does not have enough money with him, to carry out an “express kidnapping” with him. Great. We are afraid of him and he is afraid of us.

The same thing happened to us tonight on the way back home with our luggage: we called an official cab by phone and a private car came, without yellow license plates. The store owner in Chacao, where we left the bags and who got us the cab, assures us that everything is ok. So we get in the cab and start a conversation, this is always good, then the inhibition threshold to rob us is maybe lower? So we ask, what kind of private cab is this? He explains to us that these cabs come only on order over a center, everything is documented, who calls and where the cab is ordered, which cab driver comes, etc. Actually like with us in Germany. For security. Because the cab drivers are afraid. So is he. They are afraid of us and we are afraid of them. A book has also just been published: Caracas from the cab drivers’ point of view.

All’s well that ends well: tonight we are at the birthday party of Cesar’s girlfriend, in whose apartment we live, and there is whiskey!