We used rickshaws all the time in India, as they were the quickest, most convenient, and cheapest ways to get around our side of Mumbai. We even dressed up in our Indian finest and had one of my favorite family pictures taken in a rickshaw there. It is still the cover photo of our website home page.
We haven’t really gotten into using them so much here in Jakarta, primarily because we have our own vehicle, but also because they are far less ubiquitous. Taxis – real cars – seem to be the more common modes of transport-for-hire, at least among the middle/upper classes. (There are, of course, other options available. Little, dangerous mini-buses called “Metro Minis” run routes around the cities, and motorcycles for hire, called “ojeks” are also available.
But there are rickshaws here in the city. They are called “bajaj” and, unlike Mumbai (but like most of the rest of India), they neither run on LPG nor do they have meters. The combination of these two attributes mean they are a smokey way of getting ripped off for a quick ride.
But, after an elementary school happy hour, Susan decided to take one home. Apparently the negotiations for the fare went well, because I got a call from her happily shouting, “I’m coming home in a rickshaw! Get the camera!”
And so, when she rolled up to the front gate, I was ready and waiting, and now we have photographic evidence of our first ride in an Indonesian rickshaw!!