Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Wounded Rickshaw

While waiting for the car yesterday, I saw a bicycle rickshaw slowing pedal past that was hauling a rickshaw that had obviously been involved in some sort of accident. The wheel was bent to hell, kind of like what a bike looks like in the "after" shot from an accident on TV. The driver didn't seem hurt, which is good, but I couldn't help but feel bad for the guy. His likely sole source of income was the rickshaw. And while it wasn't destroyed, his livelihood had temporarily been taken from him. While wishing the driver well in my head, I couldn't help but start to think through what was actually represented with the scene before me:
  • Was this just a Good Samaritan helping out a competitor?
  • Is there an unwritten code of bicycle rickshaw drivers that they help another driver in need?
  • Had the driver of the wounded rickshaw hired the other to haul him?
  • If he had been hired, is there a pricing premium based on the situation and/or awkward size of the load?
  • Had the driver of the wounded rickshaw hired the other to haul him working off the cost by pedaling?
I know, I'm lazy and simply watched the guy pedal past, but these are the things I think.


  1. Your first guess is correct John. And if you see, there is no competetion amongst the rickshaw drivers.. poor do not compete with each other. They cannot. Its the richer who cut each other's throats for petty reasons :)

  2. That was kind of my guess as well but thanks for the confirmation. When thinking of it more, I've never seen a rickshaw driver try and "steal" a fare from another. If I'm talking to one, all others back away.