Friday, 14 November 2014

Could you not: Rickshaw Driver Edition

During our time in India we have come to understand the classic behaviours of a Rickshaw driver. Whilst they are the cheapest, most efficient way of getting around so are pretty much a necessity, the men who drive them can sometime be a god damned pain in the ass! Excuse the stereotype, but it seems that no matter what city you find yourself, they all follow the same pattern. 

1. They seek you out from the other end of the street, swerve their way through a line of traffic, then drive directly at you so you fear for your life.

Could you not..

2. They never take no for an answer - they'll proceed to follow you down the road, no matter how many times you tell them you do not need a rickshaw!

Could you not..

3. Despite not needing a rickshaw, or even on the occasions that you do, they will ask multiple times 'where are you going?'. You will answer with your destination, they will then repeat it back to you like you've just spoken in Alien and then ask again 'where are you going?'

Could you not..

4. They will pretend they know where you're going despite being unable to even pronounce the name of your hostel/hotel and try to usher you into the rickshaw saying 'OK, OK, let's go.'

Could you not..

5. When trying to arrange a journey with one driver, another 10-15 drivers will crowd around with counter offers/stares and chase you down the street when you try to leave the crazy crowd.

Could you not..

6. When you finally agree to take the ride with them, they will quote you a ridiculously inflated price telling you that it's the 'Indian price maam' even though you know its probably at least 3/4 times more than that.

Could you not..

7. They will argue with you that they cannot do the price any lower because its the 'government rules'. You will argue with them for around two minutes before losing patience and walking away. They will then chase you down the street saying 'OK, OK' and agree to your original price anyway, making the whole exchange around 13876287932 times longer than it needed to be.

Could you not..

8. They also cannot reduce the price because the distance is 10/20km - a complete exaggeration on the actual distance which is often just 2/3km.

Could you not..

9. They will allow around 12 Indian people in a rickshaw but tell you that in the night it's OK for 4 people to get in but in the day only 3 are allowed; again 'government rules' come into play. 'Rules are no different for Indian people maam.'

Could you not..

10. Along the route there will be multiple instances of the driver trying to guess where you're from. Despite definitely looking western so being accepting of guesses such as America or anywhere in Europe, you become questionable of guesses such as Korea and Japan.

Could you not..

11. They always tell you they don't have change when you try to pay. After repeatedly enforcing that you have nothing less, suddenly a handful of change appears. Magical.

Could you not..

12. They will insist on holding you ransom to multiple photos on their VGA cameras to show to their family before allowing you to leave the rickshaw and stage a photo shoot of different poses whilst doing so.

Could you not..

13. On numerous occasions, they will stop alongside you whilst you are walking down the road and try to get you into the rickshaw despite it already containing around 5 Indian people and absolutely no more space.
Could you not..

14. They often try to allow a local/ a friend of theirs to travel in the rickshaw with you, giving them a free ride whilst you pay your stupidly inflated price.

Could you not..

15. They suddenly morph into formula one drivers, driving like crazy, incredibly close to the driver in front despite the ridiculous traffic jams. You have three wheels!!

Could you not..

Disclaimer: not all rickshaw drivers are annoying/ rude/ impatient/ unhelpful. We have met a few very lovely ones along the way who we would share journeys with time and time again. We do not have any hostility towards rickshaw drivers in general but the above do cause us large scale stress on occasion hence the venting.

Rant over.

Happy Wanderers 

1 comment: