Hold On! It’s a Skopje Taxi Ride

When I travel for business, I need to get to meetings fast. Meetings that can be across town or across a (small) country. Often, taxi drivers have a much different view of driving than you or I might.

Traffic rules are flexible, lanes are fluid, and cops are irrelevant in more places and ways than you can imagine. And I have the hardest time conveying both the speed and agility in which they drive and my paradoxically calm nature when zipping across a city on a Thai motorcycle taxi for example.

Here in Skopje, taxis are a little less insane in their lane jumping rush to earn my $1-2 per ride. But don’t think it’s a calm drive. Better yet, live a few moments of a taxi ride I took this week with this short backseat video of the experience.

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Old San Juan Taxi Mafia

How much do you think it is for a taxi in Old San Juan. How much might it be to go the two miles from Plaza de Armas to Puerta de la Tierra? According to the door of a Puerto Rican taxi it is $1.75 for the first mile, $2 per mile there after. But then you didn’t ask the driver.

According to the San Juan Taxi Mafia, any ride in Old San Juan, no matter the distance, is $10 at flagfall, increasing if you bring along luggage, no matter if the driver touches it or not.

To leave Old San Juan for any other destination in San Juan City, its $15 with the price jumping in $5 increments as you pass invisible zone boundaries. That means a trip to a center-city museum or a cool guayabera store is around $20 each way just for transportation.

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Passing Peñas Blancas

As a traveler with way too many countries under my belt, most of the those entered overland, I’ve passed my share of borders. Some, like the one between Mongolia and China were a desolate spot only marked with barbed wire. Others, like the crossing between Thailand and Cambodia was a lesson is chaos theory as swarms of locals flowed effortless around border guards that plucked travelers from the stream.

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