I have a poor impression, among my relatives that I can’t even negotiate with an autowallah. It is not completely false; I actually dread them. I don’t mind paying something extra, but it has to be uniform (like a fixed price) for all the passengers. But these fellows are trained by experience in reading human behaviour. They charge by the appearance and body language.
Whenever I alight from bus at Kalasipalayaa (Bangalore) from my native, I am left with no choice but to depend on those hounds as it’s not safe for me with my wife and son during the wee morning hours. There are no buses and I was unaware of the geography. They used to ooze money out of me. They charge me about 400 Rs (after bargaining to my limit) for a 10km travel. I had to comply, even when I am fully aware that I am paying them more than double charge. They take advantage that I don’t speak their language. There was once a driver, who even caught hold of my hand and wouldn’t leave until I paid him an additional 20 Rs.
I have now discovered other means of travel, although it takes more time. Now I feel a (sadistic) pleasure when I reject the offers from auto rickshaw drivers at the Silk Board junction. I ignore their pleas of charge-by-meter, with a loud laugh in my mind. I now avoid auto rickshaws whenever possible, not limited to Bangalore. My wife has now learned to live with my eccentricities. Glory!