Thursday, March 7, 2019

Hail to the Taxi Drivers of Cuernavaca

We've been here for almost 5 weeks, and I decided to try to do a little survey of our taxi drivers who get us around for almost nothing.  If Gilberto calls a cab for us and he comes directly to the house, the cost is usually 60 pesos or about $3.00.  If we hail a cab on the street, it's usually 40 pesos or a bit more than $2.00 - and that's to go anyplace in the city.  The bus fares are 10 - 25 cents.

I have taken to asking two questions:   What do you think of your new president, Manuel Obrador, and how about Trump?

  • Trump is a showman.  He has lots of money and he wants to show off.  Obrador is dangerous.  He is giving money to people who don't deserve it.  People need to earn money.  If we're not  careful we will end up like Venezuela.  This guy had been a truck driver in Chicago for 20 years.  His English was excellent.
  • Trump is horrible.  Ignorant.  Nieto is good so far.  Not great but good.  I always make a point of trying to say, "Muchos Americanos no gustan Trump, tambein."  - just so they understand that Trump doesn't represent ALL Americans.  His English was halting but he proudly told us he had a daughter who was an architect in Mexico City, another daughter who was an engineer and a son who was also an engineer.  We wanted to ask him how he managed all of that, but didn't.
  • This guy really likes Obrador.  He didn't speak any English, so I'm not sure I got it totally correct, but he mentioned  Pena Nieto, who was corrupt and ruled for 6 years and was "El President por los ricos."  Obrador is "El Presidente por los pueblos."  As for Trump, he said he didn't know much about Trump.
  • We had just come from having a margarita at Las Mananitas, a beautiful hotel/restaurant where peacocks and parrots roam about.  I asked our driver my two questions.  He, too, knew no English, but he said he really likes Obrador.  He told us that Obrador came to Cuernavaca.  He visited Las Mananitas but he wouldn't eat there.  I asked him, "Porque no?" and he said that he wanted to go to the Mercado to eat with the people!  As for Trump, there was a shrug of the shoulders and he said, "Es muy Rico!"
  • Obrador- si, si!  Es un hombre de los gente.  Trump- Aarrgg!  No me gusto.
  • Obrador- mas or menos.  Some good, some bad.  I have to wait and see.  The people were very excited during the elections;  now everyone is complacent and no-one cares.  Trump?  - the only response was laughter.
  • Obrador- Well he's better than the last but not great.  Trump- I do not like Trump.  No es un hombre simpatico.  This taxi driver had lived in Houston for 17 years doing construction work. We asked why he had moved back and he said, "My parents needed their son."  
  • Obrador - no, no le gusto.   Porque, I asked?  Isn't he honest?  Isn't he a president of the people?  The driver said, "That's what he says, but I don't believe him."  And Trump?  No, no le gusto tambien.    When I asked him why, all he said was, No, No, No.
  • This guy spoke some English.  He has 5 brothers and a sister living in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He wants to go too, but he can't get papers because of Donald Trump.  Like most of the others, he didn't seem angry or hostile towards Trump- more of a Que Sera attitude.  He's here now; when he's out, maybe things will be different.
  • OMG!  Today I got in the car and gave the address of home in Spanish and our drivers said, "I've got it!"  I asked if he spoke English and he said a little bit.  Well,  it turned out he had lived in Chicago for 27.  He lived by O'Hare airport and worked at the Mariott.  I asked if he liked the cold, cold winter and he said, "I loved Chicago as soon as I got there.  I loved Chicago."  So I was able to ask my questions in English.  As for Obrador, he said, no- he didn't like him.  Obrador says one thing and then does another.  I don't trust him.  Then when I brought up Trump he said, "Well, Trump does some good things and some bad things." "What is one good thing he has done," I ask. "Well, he wants to help America.  He wants to build up American and make it richer.  And he wants to protect the Americans."  That stunned me!
  • I asked this one if he spoke any English.  "No, I don't speak any English," he responded in almost perfect English!!  Later he told me he likes to tell people he doesn't speak English and then he listens to their conversations and understands it all perfectly!  He'd make a greatt undercover spy!  As to my questions:  No- I don't like Obrador-  I don't trust him.  Trump has a sickness in his head.  He is very crazy.
All in all, it has been a fun experiment.  It has me using my Spanish.  I'm not totally sure if what I have reported is totally accurate because there was much of the Spanish that I didn't understand.  I would constantly say, "Habla muy despacio, for favor."  But I was very surprised by how many of our drivers had lived in the USA.  I was also surprised that there wasn't a stronger aversion to Trump.  Most of them didn't like him, but they laughed him off and didn't really take him too seriously.  It wasn't like they had a violent hatred towards him which I would have expected.  Maybe it's from having a lot of crazy presidents and politicians of their own - they have come to expect it!

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