No, this post is not about the Trishaw Mafia. I just thought this would be an interesting post title. This post is about trishaw drivers and their lifestyles. Most of us think all they do is go on hires all day, make more money than they should, try to butter us up, spend the money they make on getting drunk, and all the other shitty little things they do.
I have some pretty weird friends, probably because I don’t tell myself who my friends should and shouldn’t be. I have friends who are trishaw drivers, or rather trishaw drivers who are my friends, whatever. There’s a junction near my house on a residential road, this is where these guys park. It’s sort of like a tuk-tuk depot.
They all hang out there, talk, play cards (for money), smoke etc. The first time I spoke to them was when one of them asked me for a cigarette. My uncle had just given me and my brother a whole carton so I thought what the heck? I wasn’t sure if they smoked Benson though… hehe.
So that’s how I started talking to them. Afterwards I would go talk to them whenever I passed that way. I got lifts to Galle Road and back home. Of course there are certain things you just can’t avoid when it comes to trishaw drivers. Phone calls, these guys are persistent. If you let them have your phone they will either look for porn or dial the number of some damsel they’d been flirting with the other day. But this isn’t much of an issue, there are worse things, just don’t let them get carried away.
Money. The most important thing to them is MONEY. They don’t care where it comes from or where it’s been. Money is money. It is sacred, irreplaceable. It is God. They will try all sorts of gimmicks to get some money off you. They might say it’s to pay off some debts that have come due or some shit like that, but trust me you won’t get it back. This happened once to me. He needed money to pay off some repair bills(yeah right -.-). I didn’t really have an issue parting with the money, money isn’t God to me. So I gave him what he wanted, he promised to return it in a month. Never happened.
I’m no fool. I got my money back anyway, in another form. One important part of their lifestyle is drugs. Every other day these guys can be found smoking up a few joints, or passed out on the backseat. Strangely I would be walking back from class at the times these happened. They would let me have some for free. So when this trishaw driver couldn’t get me the money in time I cut him a deal. From then onwards he has to supply me with ‘the herb’ whenever I want it. Haha.
ViceUnVersa left a comment on my post A Beautiful Lie stating that trishaw drivers are the “dregs of our society”. I guess so, along with the fake beggars and Mervin Silva, you could say so. But I envy their lifestyle. They’ve got so much freedom. They seem to have all they need. At least the guys in my neighbourhood. It’s funny though, whenever I pass by this other ‘depot’ near my home the guys are always like “set wemu, harida?” and it never happens, lol. To them life is all about making enough money to pay the bills, buy the weed, cigarettes, arrack and whatnot. Ah, now that is the life.