Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Across India (and much of Asia in general), rickshaws are a key mode of transport. Modern rickshaws are motor powered and are often referred to as 'autos', pronounced a bit like 'otto'. In Bombay they are largely confined to the north of the city - you won't find them south of Bandra, it's all taxis there. Different cities have different ways of functioning, in Chennai for example they don't use meters so all rickshaw drivers simply rip you off. In Bangalore they are starting to use the meter but that doesn't stop them from trying to rip you off. In Bombay the drivers are mostly fine, if you can procure one that is. A typical interaction with a rickshaw driver might go something like this:

Wave down rickshaw.

Lean in and say your hoped for destination, e.g. Andheri station

Driver looks at you like you've just asked to molest his children and drives off in disgust.