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Trip 23: From Border Street to USA Embassy

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(x+x^2)^2/x: Thanks for your comment!

Meshari: Thank you for your regular visits and comments! Without these little stories, this CJ would be nothing...

armpit43: Thanks for your comment! BTW, I think you should post larger pics in your CJ; we could see all your city's detail.


Carrer de la Frontera (Border Street), 11:12 a.m.

It was a peaceful morning in Alarconia City's downtown. I had done some good trips and they were talking about interesting things on the radio. Now, people were analysing the results of the German and Portuguese elections.

This peace was broken when I saw some signals to stop. I stopped the taxi where I could in a one-way street and waited for my customer. I was in Border Street, named after the border control established here during the first decade of 20th century.


"Good morning, sir." I said, in Catalan.

"Hey... Can you take me to the US Embassy, please?" my customer replied, in English, I shifted my language.

"Sure, here we go..."

"Can I lower my window?"

"Of course you can..." I said, gently.

I started the engine and ran along Border Street until the crossing with Carrer Diagonal (Diagonal Street).

"You can't imagine how I hate red tape...!" said my customer, trying to begin a conversation.

"You're not the only one who hates bureaucracy..." I said, talking about myself. 

"It's just... annoying, you know... And the embassy US civil servants are the slowest people I've seen in my entire life!"


Diagonal Street, as usual, is the fastest way to go from the city inner core to the coast and it's usually clogged with traffic. Today it was a little bit more clear than other days.

"Do you think it's normal that I have had to go five times to get a couple of sheets of paper?"

"I think they aren't the only ones that work slowly. As I always say, late, slow and badly done..." I commented.

"... and I'm spending a lot of money in taxis..."

"I know I shouldn't say that, but why don't you take the Metro?"

"I'm still rehabing from claustrophobia..." he had lowered his voice "I don't get into the Metro since 1997..."

"It's a lot of time... How did it happen?"

"I've never liked the Metro when I was a child and I always went up and down using the stairs...


"... when I was 22, I went to a psychologist who took me to the psychiatrist and they both determined I am a claustrophobic person..."

"It has to be difficult." I said.

"Well, I don't have many problems in my life, but I try to avoid elevators, telephone booths, basements, the Metro and this kind of things..."

"We've gone from bureaucracy to claustrophobia..." I realized. "Don't you panic when you're stuck in red tape?"

My customer laughed.

"If I had to panic with red tape I would be dead right now..."

We went round the Station Roundabout and kept straight on, to Plaça de Correus (Post Square). Then, I kept going to get to the Autopista (The Motorway), we had to rung a short stretch until the next exit.


There wasn't much traffic in the Autopista, so I gave thanks godness.

"And why are you going to the Embassy?"

"Paperwork... I want to fix some things for my son, who is in the States. He needs some Alarconian papers that only can be tramited from the Embassy. You know, Birth Certificate, Family Book and else..."

"I guess it has to be a brief issue."

"Tell this to the embassy people..." he replied annoyed.


We went off the Autopista in the next highway and entered in Plaça de la Victòria (Victory Square), the Embassy was near, but I didn't say anyting because the man know better than me we were close the Embassy. I had to do a 315 degrees turn to take Ronda de Les Planes (Plains Beltway). The Plains is a nice and quiet (compared with the downtown) district in Alarconia City, where lies the University and the Corte Inglés, both described several entries ago.


Some meters later, having left behind an AtlanticTechCorp Pollution Catcher ®, we arrived to the nicknamed "Big Black Block Building" Embassy of the United States of America, built in 1972. I stopped where my customer told me, because the marines in the entrance wouldn't let me do it in the front door. I stopped the taximeter when it was changing to 12.45 AL$. It was the shortest trip in the day.

"There will be 12.45, please..." He looked in his wallet and only found US$.

"Do you accept American Dollars?"

"Hold on a sec..." I pushed the taximeter's buttons that allowed me to show the amount in US$. "17.43 American Dollars in today's currency, please..."

He took two10-dollar banknotes and said goodbye, carrying is sheets of paper. I wished him good luck and started the engine again, watching how the marines were staring at him.

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 In 23.2 in the lower left corner, what building is that? I have been looking for one like that for a while.

Nice update by the way 

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