Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Throwing In The Towel

Once we decided to throw in the towel and find a ride to the Bull Temple it was time to find a driver. Mark and I aren't much into bartering and more often than not we will pay the price that is quoted--unless it is over the top. However, one thing we were sure of was that we did not want to be sucked into going shopping. As we approached the Rickshaw, I had visions of being taken to a store and trying to be forced inside--the driver and store owner pulling at my feet as I hold on tightly to the vehicle. A scene that up to this point we have managed to avoid, probably because the foot-mobile is our favorite mode of transportation, but that was vivid in my mind as we approached a driver. To our relief we were quoted what appeared to be a fair price, and why complain about dropping a couple of bucks to get to our destination--something we had been unable to achieve in a full day of walking. Right as we were getting comfortable in the back of our ride a guy shows up at our side. For some unknown reason he starts to negotiate the price with us. We were a bit confused since we thought we had agreed on a price with the driver, but now the return trip to our hotel was being discussed. We were unable to give the specific address of our very small place (which is located on a very tiny alley) or even identify its location on a map. However, we do point out the general vicinity and to our surprise the price of our journey drops almost in half. The driver has remained mute during the conversation and continues to remain quiet as we are told to come with the person who has been negotiating with us. As we exit the cab, I realized that we have been stolen away and feel horrible. I can't understand why the driver didn't drive off when his vehicle was approached by this hustler. I hung my head in shame, unable to rectify the situation as Mr smooth talker took us to another vehicle. Once again we were loaded into the back, and some rapid fire words were exchanged between the "negotiator" and the driver and the engine was fired up. Just as we began to move, in limited English, the driver said "first stop looky, looky". Within seconds of me yelling in my sternest voice "No shopping, I will not get out at a store!" was Mr Hustler back at our side. Within seconds the quote was back at the original. At this point I think if it weren't for the fact that Mark is a Taurus, born in the year of the ox, and a bit bull headed I would have told Mr con artist where to stick his bulls@#t but, instead, I just sang out "Let's go!"

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