Auto- and cycle rickshaws
Firstly, you’re better off in one than out of one – this way no one stalks you in train or bus stations, chases you, shouts at you, or pulls your arm to get you into their rickshaw.
Handy hint 1: If you’re tall like me, turn your knees to the side and watch your head over bumps.
Handy hint 2: Also good for drying a sweat patch on your back; a few minutes to the left, then a few to the right and the wind should dry it out. Thumbs up.
This may be one horny toad:
But I never had any problems with safety in any rickshaws. You generally get them for a day trip around an area, or to and from stations – all of which are busy areas.
I protested once in Varanassi, India, when a guy who had stalked me since getting off the train insisted I go with him in his rickshaw to a cheap hotel (working on commission). He kept following me, til I told him to go away. Then I got in a rickshaw of what seemed to be a friend of his and he jumped in the front, too. I told him no. He got out. Take that and party, mate. The driver turned out to be a very amiable chap. Smiley face.
Pre-paid Taxi Counters
Sure. Great. Arriving at Varanassi train station, there was no-one at the counter. The place I wanted to go to wasn’t listed, or was listed as something I didn’t know. So I just got in a rickshaw that was parked nearby.
Bargaining – to be dealt with later
But holy crap. How sane do you want to remain?
Auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw?
An auto rickshaw is better for longer journeys and protects you a little more from dirt and dust flying about – and you’re better hidden from sellers at traffic lights.
But all those in favour of a tricycle, raise your hands now (unless you’re cycling, we don’t want any crashes). Why?
- they’re cheaper
- the guys riding the bikes work harder
- the guys riding the bikes have less money
- the guys riding the bikes will spin you the most heartfelt family stories to get more money from you – can you resist?
In some areas a cycle rickshaw is your only option, such as around the Taj Mahal which has banned auto-rickshaws in the immediate vicinity.