Nervous Nelly

Originally posted on The Playa Time: http://theplayatimes.com/2015/02/04/nervous-nelly/

I’m afraid to ask this question because I know you’re going to make fun of me, but is it true that taxi drivers will kidnap you if your resort is really far away from town? We’re really nervous about it and thinking of renting a car.

Nervous Nelly

Dear Nelly,

While I cannot speak for all taxi drivers in Playa, I can tell you that a very large percentage of them do not kidnap tourists, no matter how far away their resort is from town.

Think of it this way… to kidnap someone, you need to have at least some infrastructure in place to arrange for the ransom. You need a place to keep the kidnappee, a group of friends who are willing to ignore that you are keeping someone there against their will, and phones that are untraceable by local, state, and federal law enforcement who will just figure out where you are and come and arrest you.

Then, you need to have a way for the kidnappee’s family to wire you the money. Since international wire transfers are not entirely the easiest things to manage on the best of days in Mexico, this is highly unlikely. So, you need to be able to figure out a way that the kidnappee’s family can bring you the money, probably in large canvas bags with huge dollar signs on them. Like, smuggling a lot of money is one of those things that customs doesn’t check for when people are entering a foreign country.

This is all assuming that the taxi driver knows that the person who he or she is kidnapping has a wealthy enough family to make the whole thing worth it.

Put it another way: there are more tourists who get eaten by crocodiles in the lagoon in Cancun every year than who get kidnapped by taxi drivers. Last year, we had the lowest kidnapping rate by taxi drivers ever. The total was zero. The year before that, we nearly beat that number by also having zero taxi driver-related kidnappings.

I can understand why you would think that I make fun of you because your question can easily be looked up on Google, like so many of the questions that I get asked each edition.

A better question would have been, “Should I ask the cab driver to stop texting while he’s driving my family at highway speeds?” Another one would be, “Should I bother tipping a cab driver who doesn’t bother to have seat belts in his car?” Or “If my cab driver is clearly drunk, is it socially acceptable to nudge him in the back of the head to keep him from passing out?”
Anyway, I hope I have assuaged your fear of being kidnapped by people who basically just tolerate you being in their country and could care less if you visit their country or not.

All the best,

Craig.

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