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Standing My Ground

Everyday I take Zems, which are motorcycle taxis, to the same locations. These include the office where I work, the restaurant where I eat lunch, the pharmacy, the “supermarket” (it is super small and I don’t think really qualifies as such) and the place where I buy bread. Since my movement is limited to the same six places, including my home, I know exactly how much each trip should cost and I refuse to ever pay more than I pay everyday, unless I am feeling super nice and I give a little extra. Last week I made this very clear to a Zem driver.

Every morning I give the same directions, “Je vais au bureau de Coeur et Vie. C’est un peu après l’hôpital” (I am going to the office of Coeur et Vie. It is a little after the hospital). I tell them I will pay 150. They say 200. I say no and get on. Its the same everyday.

Well last week, I gave my directions, and the driver repeated hospital and I said yes a little bit after. So I fixed my price and hopped on. When we reached the hospital and he began to slow down I told him to keep driving, and he got angry. He stopped the moto and told me 150 only gets me to the hospital. I sternly repeated my original directions but he wasn’t hearing it. He turned off the moto and we both sat in silence. After about one minute I hopped off and started walking. After telling him that I will pay nothing followed by the sucking of my teeth.

After he saw that I was seriously going to walk the rest of the way and not pay him anything he drove beside me and said “Montez” (Get on). He obviously wasn’t very happy about it, but he drove me to the office and I only paid 150 as I do everyday!!!

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