The Hazards of Rickshaw Travel and Tips to Avoid Them
…or Rickshaw Know-how from the Rickshaw Mavin
Rickshaw travel can be a highly risky, expensive business as well as a serious health hazard. I will do my best to help you past all the pitfalls if you ever chance to ride a rickshaw in India or similar form of transportation in other parts of Southeast Asia where it is also known as a tuk-tuk.
First of all, rickshaw drivers have a form of telescopic vision and can spot the uninitiated coming from a mile away. You can literally be “taken for a ride” – a very short ride – which can cost the unawares traveler anywhere from 50-150 rupees. The true price for the same ride in a shared rickshaw, which all of these actually are, is 5 rupees. So, when you need a rickshaw to anywhere, first find out from a local person how much it should cost from point A to point B, in a private rickshaw, and also if there are shared rickshaws available for the same ride. There is no difference whatsoever between the private and shared ones, except for the price and the fact that the shared one stops every so often to let someone on or off.
Secondly, you can easily sustain serious neck (whiplash), shoulder (banging against the metal bars on the sides of the rickshaw), head (hitting the ceiling), or lower back injuries if you haven’t learned how to properly “ride” a rickshaw.
To avoid the above, first of all, pay attention to the road (and you might be able to anticipate sudden jerking stops), try not to sit close to the side, but rather in the middle of the seat (where the other passengers act as safety padding), even though it may seem more comfortable to be sitting with at least one side not snuggled close to a complete stranger. Sitting between two other passengers will also
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