To continue my story from last week, there is another type of taxi in Karakol. (Thus far, it has only existed in Karakol.) I’ll call this type the “Scott Taxi.” Here is how it developed.
I was walking down the stairs from our apartment one morning, on my way to the office, when I ran into our downstairs neighbor getting ready to leave for work. Our neighbors below us own a small grocery store in the center of town. We exchanged the usual greetings and I was continuing on my way when she continued on speaking. First, you have to understand that my Russian is not all that great. I often get the general idea but miss some details and, as we all know, the devil is in the details.
She asks me if I have a car. Well I had just recently gotten a car and the entire building would have taken note of this so her question is rhetorical, but I answer yes. She then asks if I am going through the center of town. Once again, I’m sure that the entire building has a pretty good idea of where our office is and that it generally requires a drive through the center of town. Again, rhetorical? I answer yes, again. She then continues on speaking and I lose the conversation at that point though it seems that she wants a ride to town. (She is the grandma who runs the store.)
Well I continue on down the stairs and put my things in the car and she walks out and right past my car, taking her trash to the dumpsters. Just as I start the engine, my back driver’s side door opens and in comes my neighbor for the ride to her store. Thus, the Scott Taxi.
That is the only time she has done that, though another local friend did something similar a week or so later. But it was a little more obvious that they wanted a ride back into the center of town from our offices. If it happens much more, I may just go buy a taxi sign to put on the roof.