I almost never take taxis because it’s been driven into my core that taking taxis are a bourgeoise luxury.
The best part of being on mission for the UN, though, is that everything is reimbursable, including taxi rides.
While normally, I watch the rising meter with anxiety, when I know that someone is paying for my taxi fare, it feels like I have a personal chauffeur taking me around.
The only catch, of course, is that you have to keep all your receipts.
If you’ve never been to Italy, you would never believe the extent to which the taxi drivers are sly, sneaky scumbags.
During my time in Florence a few years back, I battled against all sorts of thievery in the form of “adjustable taxi rates”.
This time in Rome was no different. The other day, I jumped into the cab, and the taxi driver said something vague about traffic…and with a push of a button, the meter read 35 euro. At the next red light, I jumped out, which made him plenty mad.
But I got the hang of dealing with these greasy Mediterraneans. Also, the knowledge of my impending reimbursement made me relax somewhat.
At the end of every taxi ride, I’d ask for the receipt. They usually sighed, not wanting the extra work of writing one out.
In all, I collected something like 15 taxi fare receipts. I got out of Italy feeling pretty triumphant, having clawed for every euro they tried to cheat me out of.
Doing my reimbursement paperwork on the plane, however, I realized that they ultimately had the last laugh.
Here’s the paper they chose to write out my taxi fare.
Something tells me the UN will not look too kindly on my “taxi” indiscretions.