Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leaving Morocco

On my last morning in Morocco, I steeled myself for the inevitable battle of taxi wills. I had to get a lift from the Medina gate to the airport.

"Ask the driver to use the meter," chirped the guidebook. Easier said than done.

I hauled my bag out of the Medina, on my back—how the hell had I gone around the world like this for a year?—and stumbled over a parked taxi just inside the gate. The driver was sipping tea and just preparing for his shift.

"Airport?" I couldn't believe my luck.

He nodded and motioned me into the taxi. He turned on the meter without my asking. He put my backpack in the trunk. He tried to communicate for a bit, and we both blabbered in our respective languages.

Upon arrival at the airport, he became excited. He motioned to an old building, then to a sparkling new building of shapely concrete and space-age windows.

"New!" The driver was visibly proud of the new terminal.

We said our good-byes as if we were old friends.

I found the Easyjet counter and dropped off my luggage, went through security, found those elusive souvenirs I'd been craving, and boarded a plane to Paris.


Matt Hollingsworth said...

In Zagreb, it doesn't even matter if they put the meter on sometimes. They rig them to go faster. So, sometimes you get in the taxi knowing it should cost a certain price, and arrive, look at the meter and it's double. We talked to a friendly taxi driver about this one night and he said it was true that some drivers rig the meter.

Marie Javins said...

I think some of them are rigged in J.C. too. I know exactly the cost of the PATH train to home but every once in a while, the meter fare will end up not even in the realm of possibility, in spite of nothing unusual about the trip.