Victor Valdes: Thanks for your comment! But I know that my seaport has still much to learn of the ones you can see out there...
abcvs: Thanks for commenting! I guess there's been an evolution since the begginings, because I haven't stopped playing the region and I've learnt a lot about terraforming and downloaded better plugins. And don't worry, because I passed my driving exam a week ago, so I'm not illegal anymore!!
dimipol006: Thanks for your comment! Alarconia and Hong Kong are built in tiny pieces of land, so they've got to grow up!
usha: Thank you for your comment! I'm glad you liked it!
Hey... where's k50dude's comment?
Estadi dels Enginyers (Engineers Stadium), Carrer del Lateral (Side Street), 7:32 p.m.
It was strange, but I wasn't besides Engineers Stadium because of a game; the Engineers City Screwdrivers weren't playing today. I was called from the Central to go there, to Ciutat d'Alarcònia (Alarconia City) East End. I had to drive during a while, because this place is far away where I was standing.
I was looking for someone who had face of being looking for a taxi (it's easier than you imagine) and I found him quickly. I saw a boy, a young man in a stylish suit, with what seemed an expensive tie. I stopped in front of him.
"Good afternoon, sir!" I said in English.
"Hello..." he answered in English, I was right again.
"Where do we go?"
"Al's Discount Car Dealership, Alarconiatown Beach, please."
I needed to type in the way to go to Al's in the GPS. I know where Alarconiatown is, but I wasn't sure about the shortest route.
I was surprised to see the GPS device considered the TransAlarconia Tunnel route the shortest one, so we got going.
I remained in silence for some meters, waiting for my customer to begin the conversation. He was definately too young to wear this kind of suits I tend to wear on weddings or special events.
"Nice suit!" I said, turning the radio low.
"Thanks, but I hate it..." he said, untightening his tie.
"Why? It's really elegant."
"It's my uniform. I work in the shop you've seen where you've picked me up. It's a men's clothing store."
"I see... Like the boy in "21", you know, the blackjack movie?"
"Yes, more or less..." he seemed a little tired.
We had taken Carrer del Greix (Grease Street) and kept our way over the A2 Motorway. We were now in the southernmost part of Ciutat dels Enginyers (Engineers City), one of the largest and populous districts in the city. The motorway was a bit busy, commuters were going back home and this was today's last trip.
"I guess you're buying a car..." I said.
"How do you know?"
"Well, it's obvious. You're going to a car dealership in a taxi... Can I ask you something?"
"Why haven't you taken the UrbanRail or a bus?"
"I think Al closes his store at 8:30 so I've got to be fast."
"I see you want your car now."
"I've got the money with me..."
We had arrived to Logistics City and we had to go round the Hapag-Lloyd's logistics center in order to take the TransAlarconia Tunnel.
"I've been saving for months to buy the car and I've just gotten my license..." my customer said.
"Congratulations! What kind of car do you want?" I asked. Cars are sometimes great talking topics.
"The cheapest as possible. I've known Al for ages, he's a friend of my dad and I know he wouldn't sell us a crappy car..."
TransAlarconia Tunnel was the last "pharaonical project" this nation had seen. It crosses Illa de Nova Catalunya (New Catalonia Island) from east to west under the mountain, going underground for two kilometers and thousands of people. People, specially commuters were really happy with it, saving a lot of time on the road. I was happy too, it was going to be a fast trip. I took off my sunglasses before entering on it.
When we got in, my customer stopped speaking; this happens to a lot of people. When we enter in a tunnel, they shut up; I have never understand it. The boy wasn't an exception and remained in silence while the radio signal faded away. I had to activate the CD reader and put on some "driving music". Groove Armada would do the job while I kept the taxi at 100 km/h.
When we went out, the sun hit us on our face. The taxi cab was facing west and the sun was setting now, so I had to break heavily and look for my sunglasses before arriving to Plaça del 8 d'Abril (8th of April Roundabout), linking the TransAlarconia Tunnel with Avinguda de l'Atlàntic (Atlantic Avenue). I took Atlantic Avenue northbounds.
"I've seen you don't like your job very much..." I said.
"Well... in fact I like it, but sometimes it can be really tiring."
"Yes, I attend my lessons at University of Alarconia on mornings."
"Now I see why you want a car..."
"And I live in West Americana, so yes, I need a car."
"What degree are you studying?"
"I didn't know this degree was offered here..." I said sincerely.
"You know it now."
We kept following Atlantic Avenue, now, inside Districte de l'Eixample (Extension District). The Extension was the planned neighbourhood where North-American inmigrants came massively during the 19th century. This part of the island was the first place where they established and founded their own institutions. Nowadays, the Alarconian American College is a reminder of this fact.
"We're near Alarconiatown now..."
"I see." he said "Lots of my friends attend the AAC..."
"There's not philosophy in AAC."
"No, there isn't. They focus on "useful" degrees."
"Did they tell you that?"
"No, I discovered it by myself." he said a little angry.
We were now near the Alarconia City municipality line, where Alarconiatown begins. Alarconiatown is split in two parts: Alarconiatown Beach and Alarconiatown Heights. The first one is the oldest part of the city, the first streets laid by North-American inmigrants very near the ocean. Alarconiatown Heights is besides the municipality line, sticked to Alarconia City. In the middle of them, countryside.
This was Alarconiatown Heights, and bus traffic was really heavy. We only had to look for Alarconiatown Beach second crossing to the right and get into, according to the GPS sensual woman voice.
"How much it cost you the GPS device?" he asked.
"Emmmm... Don't know.... Maybe... 250 AL$ more or less. Do you think you'll need one?"
"Don't know. Would you recommend it?"
"I think we taxi drivers need it because it saves us a lot of time and mistakes, but I don't think a normal person needs it. Alarconia is small enough to avoid getting lost, you know what I mean?"
"I'm saying is that we need this as a tool because when they invented it we really noticed the difference. Before it, I had to know every street and every road in the map and I had to memorize in what situations this road was full of traffic. Sometimes, calculating the shortest route was a pain. Now, the GPS tells and you only have to worry in driving."
"So you wouldn't recommend it?"
"Respectfully, not for you..."
I turned right to take Hyde Street, the nortern part of the island have no Catalan names for streets because the American-native are the primarly inhabitants.
I stopped my car when I saw the dealership before arriving to the level crossing. Then, I stopped the GPS and the taximeter while watching how an infinite freight train was crossing the town.
"There will be 35.25 AL$, please." I said.
He looked in his wallet, I could see a good amount of 200 AL$ banknotes inside; ready to pay the car.
"Here you are, 36. Keep the change!" he said, opening the door carefully.
"Enjoy your driving!"
"I'll do... Goodbye!"
Then, I removed the "free" signal light and headed home. I was hungry and tired.