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Taxis Of Puerto Plata

In Puerto Plata, where I have been living for a few years, it never occurred to me to drive a car, nor to buy one. Not only do the majority of the drivers of this town drive recklessly, but in case of accident, the drivers, guilty or not, are taken to the nearest police station for investigation, and can spend several hours there.

Naturally, since I do not drive myself, I don't have to cope with the numerous problems inherent in the automobilist status. I absolutely do not worry about the exorbitant price of gas, about renewing the license plate, about the driver's license, the insurance, the engine failures, the tickets, the oil changes, the flat tires, etc.

In addition, I have noted that a car at home is a permanent and irresistible invitation to go out every minute, without any serious reason. For me, it's rather the contrary. Since I am not motorized, I think for a while before leaving my house. Out of the question that I show my face in the streets at any moment. And If I have to go out for a good reason, I have at my disposal many taxis of which all the drivers are remarkably courteous and helpful.

For instance, when I finish with my shopping, the taxi driver who takes me back home, unloads himself the car with a large smile, and carries all my bags to the kitchen. And, believe me, this princely service doesn't change anything to the regular fare.

Of course, if all the taxi drivers of Puerto Plata are beyond reproach for their politeness, one cannot rule out the possibility that some of them are really bizarre. A simple enumeration will enable you to see the kind of chauffeurs the taxi passengers are dealing with. There are the taciturn drivers, the talkative, the madly in love with politics, the concupiscent who are suggestively peering at all the women they see on the sidewalks, the jokers, the excessively perfumed drivers, the failed singers who are humming during all the ride, the missed reporters who fire questions at me, and want to know at all costs where I come from, why I am living in Puerto Plata, and if I am satisfied about the life I am leading there.

But, in my opinion, the most unpleasant of them all is the pot-bellied, graying driver in his sixties whom I came across recently. During the entire ride, this downhearted man took pleasure in telling me his troubles with a sad, plaintive voice. At first, he informed me he is suffering from diabetes, and must have an insulin injection every morning. His wife, who had left the hospital the evening before, had undergone treatment for a severe crisis of renal insufficiency. And his eldest daughter, who is five months pregnant, is walking with crutches, as a result of an unfortunate fall in her bath.

I am a charitable man, and my patience is unlimited. Nevertheless these sad exchanges of confidence are depressing, and make me lose my habitual joy of living for a long moment.

Thankfully, Puerto Plata is well served by hundreds of taxis, and it is probable and desirable that I will not see again this gloomy driver before several long months.

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