Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Taxi Driver Who Knew What He Didn't - Llorente Blues in Cebu


It would be my 3rd hotel on one of my numerous hotel-hopping Cebu visits, Adelfa Hotel, a relatively new hotel right in the heart of Fuente Osmena. (What can I say, I like discovering new hotels.) 

There was a furrow on my forehead. My taxi driver was testing my patience so early in the day from Tune Hotel. Adelfa Hotel is modern, cool, comfortable, and conveniently located at Llorente Street just a block from busy Jones (Osmena). I have never been to Llorente before this but I have studied the map so I was oriented. 

When I got inside my taxi, the driver said he knew where Adelfa was, but when he started the car, you could feel his uncertainty. I told him the general directions: "From Jones, we turn right to Llorente just before reaching the Capitol". Very simple instructions. 

But he kept driving wayward so I started directing him: "Escario, Capitol, left at Jones, straight ahead, then just before reaching Fuente Osmena, turn right". Clear as cloudless sky, right? But at every darn intersection, he would point his hand to the east, "Ah Llorente is there, I know" and I'd go "No, it isn't!" 

He repeatedly asked for the name of the hotel and the street, interchanging the two terms 8x in 15 minutes. Was he inebriated? Or just simple minded? Or was he taking me for a ride? Oriented to time, place and person? I haven't been to Llorente so I am not 100% confident, but I had to be firm. 

We turned a street too early and he muttered, "No Llorente here. I know these streets (in Visayan)" then he started enumerating names of streets in the vicinity (San Diego, Carlos, Horatio, etc.)... anything but the street I wanted, then insisted that Llorente was North this time. I was at my wit's end never to erupt so early in the day, but I muttered a firm "No, straight ahead (in Visayan). Then at the next corner, lo and behold, Llorente Street, like manna from the heavens - and like the first drop of rain on a 10-year drought, I was where I wanted to go! No tips for you, buddy!

This is the Eye in the Sky!

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