At the airport parking lot the Bahamian asks us to retrieve a parking stub from the machine at the gate. The Brazilian fumbles in confusion, trying to recover his composure and get back in the game. The Bahamian explains, only now, that if he is to wait for us, we have to pay for his parking. Really? Brazil 1 - Bahamas 1. We don't give it another thought, we're too excited to see my parents and we rush out of the cab and into the terminal.
The Bahamian follows, he wants to make sure we don't forget about our deal. He's really very cordial, inquiring about our backgrounds and our plans. He wants to know about the white and red Polish flag I'm holding. I brought it along to salute my parents on their arrival. He retreats respectfully, saying he'll give us space to welcome them, and will come to collect their bags when they get here. We spot my parents still in the baggage claims, on the other side of a sliding door that expels people in small chunks into the main terminal. I frantically wave the flag to get their attention until they spot us, too. When they finally come out it's a frenzy of hugs, kisses and flashing camera shots.
My parents are glowing with joy. Excited and chatty we make our way towards the cab where my parents enjoy a long coveted cigarette, while the driver arranges luggage in the back of the van. Coming out of the airport we pay $2 for parking and muse over the chain of taxi cabs waiting at the main terminal, ready to pick up fresh fare. We realize we didn't need to have the Bahamian wait for us, we could have just grabbed a different cab back downtown. He didn't give us a deal anyway. Brazil 1 - Bahamas 2. We comfort ourselves and agree that perhaps a different cab driver would not take us back for $35. The parking fee is a small compromise for the benefit of having a car waiting and willing. The important part is that my parents are here. On the ride back the cab is buzzing with conversation interrupted only by glances out the window at the run-down yet bright and cheerful neighborhoods surrounding downtown Nassau. When we arrive at the marina we think we're neck to neck with the Bahamian until he delivers the final kick. We're being charged an additional $6 for the two extra passengers we picked up at the airport. We're surprised, shocked even; that's a rule of the game we were not aware of. The Brazilian gets back on the defense, but it's too late. The Bahamian sneaks it past us, we pay what we owe, and he finishes with a 3:1 victory. Game over.
We pout for a second and then resume our merriment, dismissing our defeat on account of the Bahamian's cunning, a tactic inherent to taxi drivers world wide. We hold no grudges and we don't dwell. It's a "local eat tourist" kinda world, and we understand that. We're here to have fun and we just can't wait to get started.