The word is pain!
It didn’t take this Coot long to find something he doesn’t like about Buenos Aires. You know how it goes. You discover something great that make life better and lightens your day. But then you find that it has a flaw- and not just a minor flaw that you can excuse and joke about but a major one that you notice every time you use it and causes you to look and feel foolish as well as experiencing pain. You use the damned thing because you need it but you go through hell every time.
The thing that continues to bug me here in Buenos Aires even though our trip would be much less enjoyable if they didn’t exist is the taxi’s. I hate to complain because there is so much positive about the cabs. To begin with, they are everywhere and easy to hail when you need one. Where ever we go. At whatever time we are out we can find a taxi. Not only that, they are inexpensive. They aren’t as cheap as the Subte (subway) but you don’t have to stand while you ride and they are much cooler. Pounding the pavement following my photographer wife can be grueling and when you can’t face riding the Subte, the taxi’s are a quick way home.
The taxi’s are wonderful. With many fine features, they do make getting around sprawling Buenos Aires manageable but those feature come at a cost. I really do appreciate the Buenos Aires taxi’s but each time I use one I pay dearly. It is agony to get in and out of one. Maybe it’s no problem for your average Portano. It is a big problem for a tall, old Coot with some pain in the knee joints. Getting in and out of the darn things is painful and time consuming because the back doors are built for midgets with tiny feet.
Just a bit of background on the Buenos Aires taxi’s. They are all black and yellow with the same paint job even though there are multiple taxi companies. They are all four door vehicles but can be any make. We have seen Chevy’s, VW’s, Peugeot’s, Citroen’s, and other I can’t identify. They are all uncomfortably small with doors that don’t leave room for my big feet or room to get my knees out of the way. If you are tall it is a problem to get in and out but if you have any joint pain, it is torture.
Over time I have developed better techniques but they aren’t pretty. Sometimes I can lie back and swivel my feet in the air to get them out of the door. Other times it is a long shuffle while I manually maneuver my feet through the tiny space provided. It isn’t fun or graceful and it is never painless. I have no idea whether the Argentine government specifies the size of the doors. What I do know is that whatever the make of the taxi, the doors are the same inadequate size. There is no reason to discriminate when you are looking for a taxi because whichever one one pick will be uncomfortably small. I do know that if I found one with a bigger door, the driver would get all my business.