thepokemaniac: Thanks for all your comments, glad to see you around here again! The link, on your CJ.
k50dude: Thanks for your comment, it took me a while searching all the LEX looking for the missing links. The LEX has the best quality but you can't compare the LEX's search system with the STEX one.
CTMandR: Thanks for your comment! In fact, I usually wonder how would be to live in Alarconia. At least it has skyscrapers...
Sambucy85: Thank you for your comment, and you're welcome!
First of all, thank you very, very much you all; because we've hit more than 10,000 views!!!! This is much more than I expected when I began this CJ, it is my first experience on CJing and I thought that mine would go unnoticed among lots of outstanding CJ's out there! I wouldn't have reached those 10,000 views without your comments, your always constructive criticism, suggestions, questions...
Alarconia has seen some major changes during the time this CJ has existed, and you can be sure that you'll see some more!! Thank you all!
Carrer del Robí (Ruby Street), Illa Llarga (Long Island), 9:14 a.m.
I recieved a call from the Central, they told me to go far away from Ciutat d'Alarcònia (Alarconia City). I had to go to Long Island, because I was the closest driver to the island. I had to cross Pont de la Unió (Union Bridge) and drive across the island until arriving to the address the GPS female voice told me.
1, Ruby Street was the address where West Long Island Public Elementary School stands. I stopped the car near the building and I opened the day's newspaper, waiting for my customer. He appeared one minute later, going across the street and entering into my taxicab. I left the newspaper on the seat and I said hello, as usual:
"Good morning, sir. Where do we go?"
"Auditori de la Universitat Politècnica de l'Atlàntic (Atlantic Technological University Auditorium), please."
"It's quite far and I'll have to charge you the Bridge's fare. Do you agree?"
"Here we go..." I concluded.
Started the engine and turned right, looking for the A4 highway, the one that goes from Long Island to Alarconia City with Union Bridge in the middle. Fortunately, the highway wasn't very far.
My customer coughed a couple of times.
"Have a cold?" I asked, with courtesy.
"No... pollution, you know..."
"Oh, yes..." Long Island is disconnected from Illa de Nova Catalunya (New Catalonia Island), so it has it's own power plant. The problem is that this plant is that uses coal to produce electricity, which leds to a terrible pollution all over Long Island.
"I'm asthmatic so this is not a good city to live..."
"So you're here because of your job."
"You're right. In fact I live in Alarconiatown and come here everyday by bus. I'm the school principal."
Long Island is not an ugly city. If it wasn't for it's pollution, it would be one of the nicest places in Alarconia, very far from traffic and stress of Alarconia City. Although absolutely divided by this highway, it's nice.
"I only know principal's work when teachers told me to go to his or her office..." I joked.
"Were you a bad student?"
"A little naughty, like all others I guess..." I said, without wanting to get deeper in this topic.
I kept straight, and we went through Long Island Tunnel, the one that takes you to East Long Island, the historical quarter of the city.
East Long Island is much more active than the rest of Long Island. It has more commercial zones, more beaches and more traffic. Even the city's main harbor is placed here.
"So what does a principal out of his school?" I asked.
"I'm going to the Education Council Annual Meeting."
"Is it hold at Atlantic Tech?"
"The meeting is hold in a different university every year. The first meeting was held at University of Alarconia auditorium, the second one at the Alarconian American College auditorium and the third at Atlantic Tech auditorium. Then, it became a tradition to rotate the place of the meeting." he explained.
"I see. Well, the trip to Atlantic Tech won't be cheap, believe me..."
"As I imagined..."
We were on the edge of the city, where the toll booths used to be until the Department of Transport installed an electronic toll system to make the trips more comfortable; years ago, jams here were memorable... My telepayment device (called Teletac) beeped and we all knew that the Department of Transport had taken 10 AL$ from my bank account.
"How much you pay for your daily commuting?" I asked.
"I buy a 10-Trip ticket, it costs 5 AL$... 50 cents per trip."
"Do you think it's expensive?"
"Well, they need 20 passengers a trip to pay the toll completely and I can swear that we are more than 20 people when I go to the school, so I think it's fair."
We entered to the bridge a minute later and I drove to the maximum speed allowed. The traffic wasn't heavy and Alarconia City is nice to see from here.
"Can you turn the radio loud?"
"Yes. Do you want to listen to the Political Chat?"
"Yes, please. It's always funny to hear what they say..." he meant the Political Chat, from 9 to 10 a.m., courtesy of Alarconia National Radio.
"I think "funny" isn't the word to define the chat."
"Which is the word?"
"Angry. Irritated. Annoying..."
"So why do you listen to it?"
"I like knowing what happens in my country..." I answered sincerely.
When we had passed the first half of the bridge, we saw some wrecked cars; three of four in the other sense of driving. It seemed to have caused an enormous traffic jam.
Due to what specialists call "the onlooker effect"; the pace in our sense had slowed down, and the pace was slow until we entered Alarconia City.
Here finishes the A4 motorway and begins this part of Avinguda de l'Atlàntic (Atlantic Avenue).
"If the annual meeting was held at the ACC we would have arrived..." I said.
"Yes, but we would be in a smaller space."
"Is the auditorium small?"
"Well, the Atlantic Tech one is much larger..."
"How many people are you?"
"We have to go all elementary, middle school, faculty and technical schools principals. We must be... 100 people or so..."
"Is it boring?"
"No, well... It's good because you see people that you hadn't seen for ages or you meet new people... But we do a lot of work, too."
I kept along Atlantic Avenue, until arriving to Plaça del 8 d'Abril (April, 8 Square), a new and important roundabout. It links Alarconia Avenue with TransAlarconia Tunnel. This is where we were going now.
TransAlarconia Tunnel had opened a week ago after five years in construction. Three kilometers of highway under an extinct volcano; the one that generated this archipelago. It is an infrastructure demanded since the 60s and it links the west part with the east part of Alarconia City, non-stop in a straight line. It was the first time I was going to take it.
"So this is the new tunnel..." my customer said.
"Much more than this. It will save a lot of times to commuters, transport and taxi drivers like me... Without it, we would have to take Carretera del Sol (Sun Road) and traffic is horrible there...
The radio signal faded slowly as we were running, so the taxicab stayed now in silence. Traffic was light and the electronic signs said that there was no problem.
There were overhanging signs that told the drivers what structures or neighbourhoods were situated over their heads. Vall Negra, AGSC Complex, Olympic Tennis Center, The Tower, Volcano District, Curves Road... They were quite useful to know in what part of the island you were.
Three kilometers later, when we had had the opportunity of admiring the TransAlarconia Tunnel, we went out to the exterior. The sun hurt my eyes for a moment.
We were now in a completely different place. Hapag-Lloyd Logistics City. Now, we had to head to the A2 motorway, so we went east, round the logistics center. They were talking about education in the radio and my customer was now infuriated.
We had to go through an industrial park, and then, we reached the motorway. The A2 motorway was clear today, it depends on the hour and the day. It sometimes is a nightmare. I kept straight and we passed between the two towers of Alarconia Gate Towers Complex, having Engineers District at our right hand. Now, we were approximating to Engineers Interchange, so I kept right.
Now we were in Avinguda dels Enginyers (Engineers Avenue), going straight to the Atlantic Technological University campus. I was a little tired of driving now. My customer said he could see the Civil Engineering Technical School from here.
I kept straight on Engineers Avenue, going besides the ATU Indoor Stadium and the Engineers Mall. Traffic was extremely light now, all students were doing something; if not in the classroom, working on their own inside the library or the study classrooms of each technical school.
I knew we were arriving to the auditorium when I saw the Main Library. Only one more turn... My customer picked up his blazer and made sure he wasn't dropping anything from his pockets.
Finally, we arrived to the Auditorium. It had been a long trip, one of the longest I had made ever. The sum went up to 69.45 AL$.
"There will be 69.45, please."
"Wow..." he said, taking his wallet.
"I told you it wasn't going to be cheap..."
"Can you print a receipe, please?"
"Sure..." I pushed a button and the machine printed a small receipe. Then, my customer gave me his credit card with his ID card in order to make the payment.
"Have a nice meeting..."
"I'll try... Goodbye!"
I started the car again and parked where I could, trying to take a rest.