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Published: April 17th 2006
After the boat ride under the falls we decided to stop by the Parque das Aves, a bird park that features most of the birds of South America as well as a few from Africa. Many of the birds, unfortunately, were in a cage, which makes for not so great photography, and the mid-afternoon lighting was having a strange effect on my camera, so many of the photos were blurred.
Our cab driver was still with us as we toured the bird park. He had been with us through every tour and attraction we visited (I guess they don’t mind letting the cab drivers who bring them customers in for free). It was pretty late in the afternoon by the time we made it back to Foz do Iguaçu and the bridge. Since I had all the Reals I paid the cab driver the 30 he had quoted as the price of the trip, and ten more for all of his helpfulness, thinking we had made a great deal. We hadn’t. I didn’t need to know what he was saying to know that he wanted more money, a lot more, almost 100 more Reals than what I had given him.
Paul and Rosa spent several minutes arguing with him about exactly what he had been saying all day about the cost of the ride, another driver joining in to explain how much it costs to take a cab. Eventually they settle it, and we scrape together the rest of the fare in Guaranies and Dollars since we had spent most of the Reals.
I don’t know that this guy was trying to scam us, it might’ve been easy enough for me to misunderstand the difference between Seis (6) and Treinta y Seis (36), given my lack of proficiency with the Spanish language. And Paul, speaking Spanish as well as he does, might’ve been thrown off by speaking to someone whose native language was Portuguese. But the fact that Rosa (a native Spanish speaker who is also familiar with Portuguese) heard the same thing suggests that the whole incident was suspect. So my advice, when taking a cab in Brazil, is to have them write down the fare before hand so you have a clear idea of how much you’re actually going to spend.
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