So next time I called a taxi I asked them to write down the code
Medellín is a city where people are cautious with their trust in unknown persons, especially late at night. I have been told many times to not walk alone at night, and never take a taxi alone on the street. So on my third night in Medellín I find myself in a very nice bar with the crowd of the festival asking the guy behind the counter if he can please call a taxi for me.
It is only 9pm, but I need to get back to the flat to prepare the Constant lecture. No probs, he says. Hardly five minutes later a taxi stops in front of the door. I get in and give him the address with proud: cra 64B 49B 13 or in human speech carrera 64B (running vertically through the valley of Medellín) with calle 49B (calles run horizontally through the valley). He answered me: ‘Please give me the code.’ I don’t know what to say. ‘Is there a code,’ is my blunt answer. He gets out his mic and calls in panic to his headquarter: ‘There is a gringa who doesn’t know the code, please assist me, please assist me.’
I insist in knowing what he means by the code. In the end he must realize I’m only a naive foreigner and he explains me the protocol. When you call a taxi at night, the protocol for the driver is that you give him the last 2 numbers of the telephone number of the place you called him from. He checks those two numbers with his headquarter. If they correspond, you get a ride!