Driving Lessons

We’ve made it through days of “training” with the help of our Rickshaw Guru, Dadhi. It’s been a whirlwind of lessons: how to put the right mix of gasoline and oil in the tank, where the spark plugs are, where the gear cables go, how to shift, accelerate and break, the “right” side of the road and the proper use of the horn among many, many others. We’ve gotten our horn upgraded to one that has 8 options. We’ve had a lesson on how to fix anything that goes wrong. We’ve been stared at, laughed at and applauded. And, I think we are ready.

I didn’t think so at the start of day one. I sat in the back while Kristine jumped in first. She drove, stalled, ran out of gas and then drove some more. She got the hang of it. I watched from the sidelines when Sacha stalled about 6 times and then I decided to jump in. She took us on a wild ride around the grounds and Kristine was convinced we were going to tip over( see Facebook video.) When it was my turn, I refused to get in the drivers seat. I was scared to death. Literally frozen with fear. It took a few minutes of cajoling, encouragement and sweet talking from Kristine and Sacha to finally convince me to try. I jumped in and all of the things I learned in my trike class came back to me. I didn’t stall straight off and I actually made it outside the front gate. We made it through the first day and we we’re actually ready and excited to do it again today!

All 3 of us were so much more comfortable today. Dadhi took us out in traffic right away. We got experience with pedestrians, cars, carts, cows, other rickshaws, dogs and motorbikes. We drove along the highway to get experience with trucks and cars coming at us (don’t worry mom, it was a very controlled environment). We drove around multiple round a bouts and down small streets. Not too many close calls, lots of curious and confused faces from our bystanders and some kilometers later, Dadhi thinks we are ready. So do I.

To get a good idea of what we are actually doing and for a few laughs, check out our Facebook page for many videos of the last 2 days.