Auto rickshaws waiting to ask us if we need a ride
In the bigger cities we’ve visited, there are lots of rickshaw drivers, both auto and cycle, who follow us around on the road as we attempt to walk half a kilometre to a destination. I’m still not sure if they really think walking around is that unthinkable, or if it’s because we are tourists…but sometimes they would seriously pull over and ask us if we wanted to pay them Rs.40 to go 500m to the next monument.
Unless we are walking a long distance, we typically say no politely, and continue on our way. Some of them would follow, especially the auto drivers, and continue to pester us with other destinations they could take us to, or simply (and very ignorantly) assume that I don’t speak English, and look at me while shouting “TUK-TUK! TUK-TUK!”
Let’s just say, it’s hard for someone as impatient as me to bite my tongue and hold back from saying “F-off, I speak English!” – but so far I haven’t slipped.
At our hotel in Jaipur, a lot of rickshaw drivers would hang out outside in the morning, waiting for business. Every morning as we walked past them, they would ask if we needed a rickshaw, and rattle off the tourist destinations that they would like to show us. Most days, we were taking a simple walk down a block to the tailor’s, or the post office, or another restaurant. So Alex would always politely say, “No, thank you” as soon as the barrage of inquiries came our way from the four or five rickshaw drivers chilling outside the hotel.
On our last morning in Jaipur, as we walked to the tailor’s to pick up Alex’s suit, one of the rickshaw drivers looked over at us, and said cheerily, “Good morning, No-Thank-You!”
I snickered. It was quite a becoming nickname for Alex.