This is one of those public service posts, which I’m pretty sure will greatly contribute to the betterment of people’s lives, enhance society and pave the way for a better future.
Actually, I’m positive of it.
I come across metered tuk-tuks’ some time early this year and I must say I was impressed. (Which incidentally takes a lot to do.) They’re reliable, safe, friendly and extremely cheap. A ride, which would cost me about Rs. 450 in a normal tuk-tuk and about Rs. 500-ish in a cab, cost me just Rs.220, leaving me extra dough for food and other essential commodities.
The chap who drove me, Lalith, or as I like to affectionately refer to him, ‘Uncle Lal’, (One of the many ‘Uncle’s’ I’ve christened around the country. What can I say.. I’m a Sri Lankan. When in Sri Lanka you do as the Lankans do. ) spoke impeccable English. I was pleasantly surprised because I never thought I’d see the day when tuk-tuk drivers exclaimed ‘Good Heavens!’ ‘Good gracious me!’ ‘My goodness!’, and such like. Pretty darn cool actually!
The three-wheeler itself has a detailed description of the driver pasted behind the drivers seat with particulars such as his license number, mobile number, name etc. Some three-wheelers have wonderful devices such as fire extinguishers (why? In case a fire breaks out in your handbag of course.) And even –wait for it –a box of tissues fixed on the inner roof of the tuk-tuk. (In case you want to blow your nose) I don’t know about you, but that’s something I’ve never seen before.
So, if your car stalls, if you don’t feel like placing your already short life into the precarious hands of a bus driver or when you’re in SL the next time, I suggest you give them a call. The numbers 0712 500800, you call half an hour previously and they’ll dispatch a three-wheeler in time to the necessary location.
I left the tuk-tuk with a smile on my face, my wallet still full, advice on how to deal with annoying neighbors in my head (courtesy of the driver), and these profound words of trishaw wisdom to mull over.
And no, I wasn’t paid to post this.