It happens often, you arrive in a town, take the first rickshaw driver to the hotel, he inquires how long “are you in town”, he then sticks to you like glue, appearing outside the hotel with a broad smile on his face each time you emerge.
This happened a few years ago while in Mandalay. The first rickshaw became our personal rickshaw. Everytime we left the hotel he was waiting, eager for our custom. During our time with him we leant more about him, his family and his life. Paying him just a few kyat for each ride we wondered how much he normally earned – not much, but moreover his first $25 per month was already spoken for, the hire of his rickshaw. Every ride above $25 was his income to take home, but unfortunately sometimes this did not happen. His hope for each month was to pay his rental fee and still have enough to feed his family sufficiently, his dream was to be able to save enough to buy his own rickshaw, but that would never happen he told us. A rickshaw is around $220!!!
Often while travelling I feel privileged, often humble, this was one of those occasions. My friend found a rickshaw maker in Mandalay town and indeed for $220, bought a rickshaw presenting to the driver the next day. I don’t have to tell you how amazed he was, tears rushed to his eyes.
This was such a nice thing to do and relatively easy. $220 while not a normal days outlay, is not a great deal for the likes of us travellers, but it changed this mans life.
Now three years later he owns two rickshaws, hiring the other out, bringing in a steady income. He has my friends name proudly painted across the back and on the wheels – donated by……………
The downside to the story, if there is one, is that each time my friend visits Mandalay the rickshaw driver insists that he picks him up from the airport and takes him first to his home. If you have ever been to Mandalay you will know that from the airport to the town is quite a ride in a taxi – in a rickshaw, by the time you reach town the first day is over ☺
4 dagen vanaf € 145
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23 dagen vanaf € 1366
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