Sunday, February 2, 2020

TUK TUK Etiquette

Tuk Tuks are noisy and strange things and I first travelled in one in Bangalore when I arrived. It was both terrifying and exhilarating weaving in and out of the city traffic, going round roundabouts the wrong way and whizzing past cars, buses and dogs as if they didn't exist. 

I also took a tuk tuk to get from the ashram to Mysore on a couple of occasions and most recently, I took one, squashed in with a yogi friend and all our luggage from the ashram to Mysore airport for my flight to Goa.

TukTuks are overgrown scooters and endowed with a meter like a taxi.
I have never seen a driver use it though. All fares are bartered before the journey. It keeps the meters looking pristine in their absolute uselessness.

Once there were five of us squashed in to the back seat, all piled on each other and dust pouring in to choke us from the dusty country roads outside. I loved it. It brought out the joy and playfulness in me. My inner little girl was delighted with the experience. 

I often hung out the side, phone in hand, ready to snap any gems I came across. Monkeys, colourfully dressed ladies carrying baskets on their heads. School children in thweir very smart uniforms and tidy hair on their way to or from school, dogs, cows, goats, coconut bearing tuktuk minivans, temples, shops, whistle blowing policemen. Tuk tuk journeys are fun.

But is there any driving etiquette?

I really am not sure. I think anything goes for Tuk Tuk drivers. I think they really are overgrown boys or failed racing car drivers. They seem to think they own the roads and pavements and can do whatever they want as long as they blow their horn at the same time they do it. Part of me would love to adopt the recklessness and "fuck you" attitude of the tuk tuk drivers I have met. Part of me thinks they are "assholes".

What I do know is that I have had lots of fun travelling in tuk tuks and can highly recommend them as a way of getting about.

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