Sunday, March 15, 2009

On Rickshaw Rides - Beware - and always have a plan!

So yes, Friday night I got lazy and decided to take a Rickshaw to where I was meeting Mr C. The main thing to note here is that I made sure I was straight on the price before I got into the rickshaw. As you will see, there is a catch...

I asked how much, the rider said 40 Kuai. It was freezing cold, windy and getting late, so I decided this to be a Good Thing and hopped on up.

It was quite a lovely ride, though might have been alot nicer if not for the icicles forming on my nose, as we made our way along the zou fulu (pr. zoh fool loo) and across busy intersections, to The Den. However, on arrival, there seemed to be some sort of mix-up with the pricing of the fare. Mr Guy-Onna-Bike insisted that I paid him $40Aus (equating to about 200 kuai). Far from the original 40 kuai he had quoted me *before* I got on the rickshaw. I pretended to misunderstand him. "You want Australian currency? Mai-you Ao da li ya kuai". So he started to get a little heated with me.

*Sigh* There's only one real way a girl can deal with this sort of situation... I pointed at The Den - My husband is in there, I will call him (Wo Airen neigge, Wo da dianhua wo airen), followed by me starting to dial.

See, and here's the thing - my bloke's in there with about 6 of his mates who all have a few under their belts. One of his mates is on first name basis with the entire staff of The Den and is someone that the staff like to "look after" (they also "look after" associated mates). I kind of figure the matter would be sorted out fairly promptly.

And it was. Mr Guy-Onna-Bike immediately backed off "It's ok! It's ok! Wo pengyou (my friend), 40 Kuai! It's Ok!". So I give him the money, thank him (xie-xie wo pengyou!) and quite calmly walk into The Den, where I was greeted with "Waaaaaaaaaaaaay!" hugs, kisses and cigarette smoke...

So just be aware, there's the 'real price' and then there is Special-wo-pengyou-Westerner prices attatched to most things especially in the markets, dodgy taxis and on rickshaws. You really have to be careful. The bastards are as cunning as shithouse rats!

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