RIDE ME BABY, AT ANY COST.
The common man or woman in India juggles between work and home, fighting a battle to make ends meet. However, this battle is not about the occupation but about reaching the workplace. The part of the day between one auto-rickshaw to another auto-rickshaw is the best because the challenges at work are nothing compared to the challenge of finding an affordable auto-rickshaw ride.
It's even more challenging because of its unpredictability. You've no[f*ing] idea how much exactly it costs to a destination. So, one day, there will be a meter called the OLD METER. You are entitled to pay at least 20 bucks more than it's reading. Hello? But why?
"Sir, you earn. We've to rob. Please understand!"
And then, there is the latest invention called the "NEW METER". So, since the poor auto-rickshaw still has the old meter, we have to consider one more entity called the "CONVERSION CARD".
Here's the complex mathematics of an auto-rickshaw ride.
HONEST METER : DOES NOT EXIST.
WHATEVER METER : SUFFERS FROM A ZERO ERROR (VARIABLE)
ROBBERY DAMAGE THAT YOU PAY : NEGOTIABLE
YOUR DAMAGE = HONEST METER? + ZERO ERROR + ROBBERY DAMAGE + CONVERSION DAMAGE.
Oh by the way, when you pay for the ride, you should keep the change ready, otherwise the change goes into the auto-rickshaws as service-tip!
So, an exact formula would be :
YOUR DAMAGE = HONEST METER? + ZERO ERROR + ROBBERY DAMAGE + CONVERSION DAMAGE + SERVICE TIP.
Also, since by the end of this, you will be traumatized; there will be some hidden recurring costs of re-building mental health. And again, cultural differences, geographical variations matter and will add (and in rare cases subtract from) to the costs.
So, if you think that auto-rickshaws are unique to India, they sure are! In lot more ways than one. And if you are (un)lucky, you will get a taste of it for sure.
It's an adventure of a lifetime! ;)