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- Driving Up the Volcanoes of Murderers & Drug Addicts in Mexico City
A month ago or so I had an Uber driver drive me around for 3 hours in Mexico City.
Actually, it would've been 2 hours but the dude began arguing with me and it lasted another hour beyond what was normal.
He picked me up in Tlahuac of Mexico City.
I had Uber take me to 5 destinations where 4 of them were volcanoes and one of them was a shopping mall in a city called Chalco to be dropped off at.
I got inside the Uber.
The driver asks me "how many spots we visiting today?"
I told him 5.
He then mentions casually how he has to be somewhere else soon to pick up some documents.
I told him he can pick up the documents first if he wants and then we can continue with the trip.
He declined and went on with the trip.
We visited the first volcano: Volcan Yahualixqui.
Which is technically in Iztapalapa.
It was at this point that he realized that I'm just using him to drive me around to take pictures of stuff.
Including a ton of murals I saw on the streets as we drove around.
He took offense to that.
"Matt, I'm not a tour guide! This is Uber!"
And I told him "yes and your job is to drive me from Point A to Point B if I pay you. I paid you."
"No, Matthew, no! It'll take forever!"
To which I told him "look, I'll only jump out of the vehicle, take a picture of the volcano and then jump right back in."
Which is what I planned to do and did do!
For the first volcano (and the others), I simply just wanted to take a picture.
Jumped out. Took a pic. Got right back in.
Literally in just a matter of seconds.
Not even a full minute.
At first, he thought I was going to be picking up other friends and was OK with that.
Not sure why he'd be OK with me picking up friends (who could, as he knows, take their sweet time to come out of the house and that could take minutes each) but not with me just jumping out, take a pic and then right back in under 15 seconds.
It seemed like he took offense to the idea of being turned into a private driver for tourism activity.
Which technically is allowed by Uber because I'm not making him wait minutes or hours at each destination.
Just a quick stop, take a pic, then moving on!
At any rate, we got to the next destination: Volcan Xaltepec.
I had already taken a pic of this one as I had went to Mina la Estancia but I figured I'd take another one along the way as it's within the path.
He began arguing with me that "no!! I will NOT go up the hills to where the route ends!"
I told him he will.
With how much we were arguing and all the bitching he was doing about "how dangerous it is," I just snapped finally (being a bit crazy) and said "si tu mueres, yo muero. Vamos."
And I am in the right.
The route says it ends at a certain point and we will go to that point.
"Ay Matt!!!" he responded.
He was seemingly concerned about how dangerous the area looks.
But the app says the route goes up there so we got to go. Don't disobey the Uber App God, bro.
Then we got to that volcano.
Unfortunately, we were not able to get the best view of this volcano but I did get better views of it visiting Mina la Estancia here.
After that point, he tells me that he will cancel the trip and that it ends HERE.
That he'll drop me off at some avenue that was north of Volcan Xaltepec and south of our next destination of Volcan la Caldera.
Given I already paid for this and didn't want to lose money, I told him that "I'm not leaving until you cancel the trip. I'm not cancelling it."
Which is the fucking truth.
I actually couldn't cancel it though because I didn't have data on my phone (I took my nicer American phone for photos and not the Mexican one with data).
And I'm not jumping out of a vehicle that I already paid for and have him drop me off at some random point in the city that was like 30 minutes from my house.
If he cancels, then we're good.
I assume that I don't lose my money and he can go fuck off.
At this point, I started taking pictures of the dude and where he was planning on leaving me so I could argue with Uber to give me my money back.
At any rate, he begins playing with his phone but then says "no, I can't cancel it!"
After looking it up now, supposedly he could've cancelled it mid trip but I guess he chose not to.
Maybe he wouldn't have gotten the money for the trip that he already covered some distance on?
Maybe Uber would have fucked me still?
I have no idea.
I've used Uber before for trips like this where the driver would drive me around for 3 to 4 hours covering distance and doing some sight seeing.
The drivers never complained before until this specific dude and so I'm not sure what Uber's policies are.
In the moment anyway, I saw him crying a little bit.
Not sobbing but some tears going down his face as he continued with the trip.
To which I started to feel bad for the dude.
A grown man crying.
He goes against canceling the trip and keeps on going but insists he won't drive up the mountains.
Regardless, I didn't care at this point.
I was done arguing with the guy, felt bad for him but also, above all, didn't care that much as long we got a good shot of the volcano from the distance.
I didn't expect him to literally reach the top of any of these mountains as I knew there wouldn't be roads going that far up for any of them.
I just wanted to take a picture of them from the distance but the previous volcanoes required a closer drive up on the route to get a photo.
It wasn't like he was actually driving up all the way to the top of these volcanoes.
None of them actually.
Just to the entrance point of where you'd begin climbing up.
Anyway, I managed to get a few photos of La Caldera but he drives up the mountain anyway even though I didn't insist on it (probably assumed I'd keep arguing with him).
And I told him many times in our arguing that he isn't meant to go up to the top of the volcano but just within sight of it.
For La Caldera, I didn't care if he would finish the route on this one or not as I managed to get a photo of it anyway before finishing the route.
But he basically gave in at this point and went all the way that we were technically able to.
And I say "technically" able to because there was a gate that we couldn't drive past as it was closed.
It didn't matter to me much anyhow.
The route only had like a minute left anyway until completion and we got photos of the mountain.
Including photos near the top of it.
Which scared him a shit ton as we drove up the mountain because, in his words, "this is where they kill people!"
Out of all of the mountains, La Caldera was THE one he was shitting bricks driving up on.
And it was at this point where I really started to feel bad for him because he genuinely seemed scared and was seemingly still crying.
I didn't think La Caldera was that bad though. Poor looking but OK. I could see myself spending a month here. Just because or some shit.
I told him anyway he didn't have to go up the mountain but I guess I managed to verbally beat him into submission from before to finish what the route says on the app.
Or maybe he gave up on trying to understand my gringo accent.
As you can see in the photos way below in the bottom of the article, it does look kinda shit up on the top though.
But nothing happened to us.
Did get some good views.
The next destination was Volcan Xico.
The general area surrounding Volcan Xico also kinda looks like shit.
Saw some drugged out looking dudes walking the streets as we got closer.
To which the driver muttered out "ay drogadictos!"
What a cry baby.
We got to the end of the route.
Took a photo.
At this point, his phone stopped connecting and he didn't know how to get to the final destination.
My phone, despite not having data, was working on the map app as it showed our location and the streets (I have no idea why it does work though despite not having data or wifi outside the house but I've used it many times).
And so I was able to basically navigate him to the final destination based on what Google Maps was telling me.
We finally got to the final destination: some shopping mall in Chalco city of Estado de Mexico.
Figured we'd stop there so I could get a bite to eat and could probably find an easy taxi or moto taxi to drive me around the main avenues of Chalco and any points of interest to see.
Which I did.
At the end, I kinda felt sorry for the Uber driver.
Like I said, I've done this several times before and none of the drivers had issue.
They all gladly took on the long ass trips I put them through.
Some even as long as literally 7 and 9 hours each (the two longest ones).
I primarily use Ubers and taxis like this because they are so god damn cheap and also when I want to take a bunch of photos of a shit ton of areas over a large space.
Not very ideal for when you need to get out of the car and spend an hour in a place.
Like I wouldn't have a driver just wait for me outside of Xochimilco while I get on the trajineras for 5 hours.
But it works otherwise.
Anyway, the trip of the Uber was literally just 321 pesos.
So, as I said, it's cheap as fuck!
Only 16 bucks.
And, to be honest, I didn't like the service very well with the Uber driver in the beginning.
Our arguing was a lot more intense then I let on earlier in this article.
With me going full Colombian on his ass saying literally "no sea marica!!!"
And a lot of telling him to "cancel the trip" and how "I won't leave until you cancel."
I genuinely felt he was trying to scam me in the beginning and that was annoying me a shit ton.
But, in hindsight, I think it was a misunderstanding.
On my end, the places we visited didn't initially seem too scary but they were scary to him.
As after half way into the trip and nowadays, I think the dude was genuinely scared to go up the mountains that the route was taking him of.
Especially with Caldera (where he was seemingly more upset than at any other point in the trip).
But, despite understanding me 99% of the time, he seemingly didn't understand "you don't have to go up Caldera" but he did anyway.
After that intense arguing (among other moments of arguing) that literally gave us an hour of sitting around, the ride did get better.
No more arguing.
We actually bonded for a moment.
He began asking me questions like "what foods do you like in Mexico?" and "where else have you been in Mexico?"
So, after making him fear for his life and possibly never being able to see his grandkids again, we became best friends.
And I did feel sorry for him because of what I said about him starting to cry.
He wasn't balling his eyes out sobbing.
But I did think "fuck, did I just make an old man cry?"
He looked old. Could've been 60.
Because of the water works -- and maybe it was solid acting -- I took it easy on him with the tip.
If he was some 20 year old naco type from Neza giving me shit, I'd probably have told him to kick rocks on the tip.
But an old man crying?
Fuck, am I the asshole?
So I gave him a 100 peso tip (5 bucks).
My initial doubts was that maybe he was trying to scam me by kicking me out mid way but maybe he really doesn't know how long the trip is going to be.
At the end of the day, I don't feel too bad about it but I probably did scare the dude with the route I had him drive through.
Technically, I'm allowed to use Uber this way.
Point A to Point B and no spending too much time in each destination.
But I probably could've been nicer when he tried kicking me out.
Either way, it's an issue with Uber also: They need to tell the drivers where all the extra destinations are.
Where we are going exactly and how long the trip will be.
It's not fair to the driver to be given a long ass ride like that without knowing ahead of time.
After all, the dude did have other shit he had to do that day (though I did tell him at the beginning that I don't care if he wants to handle it first before finishing the ride as I had nothing else to do).
Anyway, it is what it is.
You might be better off getting a Taxi instead but I prefer Uber still for these type of trips.
Like I said, no other driver has given me shit about it and some of them even kept driving me for after the trip was technically over at a price agreed upon in the moment.
For literally as long as 7 and 9 hours at times.
And there are certain benefits with Uber but I'll leave it at that.
In the end, I hope the old man forgives me for scaring him with a drive up scary volcanoes full of drug addicts. I only wanted to take photos. 🙁
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