Saturday, 6 February 2010


This famous Indian mini-taxis are the absolute favourite way to get from one place to the other... Cute little motorized bicycles, like the Piaggo`s in Amsterdam often having only 3 wheels, and in a tropical style no doors and windows, all is open to the side. This allows you to get a more complete view of the road and all what is happening on the side of it, and of course to inhale deeply the terrible smoke and dust of the Indian traffic. With the driver in front it is most comfortable to travel with two on the back, but this rarely happens, the number pf passengers goes mainly up to 4, like sardinies pushing and pressing each other on the seats, having their bags on the laps, in the neck, hand, wherever possible...
Bargaining is obligatory, and you often make friendship with the driver at the end of the trip by exchanging the following questions (which seem to be exactly the same in every case): Which country? Name? Married? Sometimes some extra questions about age and currency (euro?euro?) are added. Before a bigger trip you may ask a driver to be on time in front of your house, but with the Indians you never know... they often forget being there and you can do your best to catch an other one, especially if you travel at night. Once I asked two drivers, which was silly of me as these two seemed to be reliable and were both waiting for me. But I got my payment as our car just stopped in the middle of the road in the thick Indian full-moon-night. We managed to catch another riksha to reach my train, and Babu, the other rikshadriver we just left behind, was already waving at us with a big smile at the station. I had a vague idea that he knew about our breakdown at the roadside... Here all is possible.

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