Thursday, February 4, 2016

Memories: April 16th, 2014

Back in 2012 or 2013 I was working at NAP, a company dedicated to Taiwanese replacement parts for cars that were cheaper and of the same quality to whatever you found on the market, and it was during one of my late arrivals to the company that while in a taxi I had the chance of speaking with one of the taxistas libres which brought up and interesting yet disturbing story.

There is a difference here with how tax drivers work as we have two types. The first type is the route taxi which travels through a designated path, why or how they designed it the way they did is still unknown to me, which you pay a fixed amount for a specific distance; the second type is what I would call a free roamer, it can go wherever it wants as long as you pay up an amount that the driver and the passenger come to negotiate before starting the journey, why is that, because of how easy it is to alter the taximeter for it to overcharge you. This became an issue back somewhere in 2007 when Jorge Hank Rhon, then the municipal president of Tijuana, ordered a certain percentage of all taxi routes to change plates to free taxi which in turn came to be because of the ordinance delivered to all unions in Tijuana to change the old taxis to something inside the range of the 2000s, the photo below should explain why and yes, I did go into several of these back until they changed the units and I paid somewhere around forty American cents to get to school then another forty to get back where nowadays I pay a full dollar for each round but at least we travel in aerostars now...

Anyway, so it turns out I started a conversation with this guy somewhere in the early morning in which we started with the common subject which is if he has enough money to pay the rent, not his house rent but the taxi and this goes the same as well for all route taxis which have to pay a fixed amount of twenty to thirty American dollars per day or one twenty a week which may not seem as much but take note that the union does not pay for gasoline and in some very specific cases will they fix the taxi for them, depending if it is a formal union or only one patron, same thing for any fines and the like.

After that he comes up with an interesting conversation about this woman that he had picked up somewhere last week, that is last week from when I was speaking with him, and he told me that she was somewhere on her mid or late thirties but said, respectfully, that she was a beautiful woman which he in turn told to her while giving her a ride, this brought up a peculiar rant where she admitted hearing this not too often anymore putting into note that real men don't exist anymore. He said something along the lines of, yes, you are right, respect, meaningful relation, the whole nine yards, then she says, what, no, that's what is wrong with men nowadays, they want a relation where things are split in equal measure and equal opportunities, those are fags, real men don't come and ask you with can I or by pleading something, they come and demand things and you do it because there is a division between a woman and a man, each has different tasks, women stay in the kitchen and home while men do the hard work and bring money home, also let me tell you that when I started working I gave him all the money and if he came home drunk at three in the morning demanding to have something to eat right away and I didn't have it you can bet he would beat me up because it was his right as my husband, I never complained and I loved him but unfortunately he died a couple of years ago... I miss him and haven't found anyone like him since then.

Back then it stroke me as odd and alarming but a month ago, that is recently, I spoke with one of my professors who told me that Tijuana and Baja California in general is considered to be a reactionary state, if it is considered amoral because of all the bars, alcohol, prostitution and gambling then it should be put into question as to why it was really brought in, it was just a thing of the moment and it brought cash in when there was none but there was a problem as most of these, back in the early century, were controlled by Americans and had unions that would only allow Americans to work in such places because they wanted to avoid cultural shock with American patrons. Hard to believe that in a place like this, in which I always thought we were liberal, is actually quite the contrary and PAN, Partido Accion Nacional or National Action Party, which is a right wing catholic party that has been in control of Baja California since 1989 may be more than proof enough of this even if people would come to say that they rather have them and change something instead of keeping with the old party and their corruption... needless to say I am doubtful of their claims and to put even more the thing about Tijuana being amoral I remembered something really important, this state, Baja California, is one of the few states where we don't have riot police and that would be because we've almost never had any problems with protesters or rallies unlike the center or south of the country where there is at least one protest in Mexico City every single day.

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