A young man's strange erotic journey around the globe
The Rickshaw Run (India)
The Starting Line – Jaisalmer
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Rickshaw Run – a two-week race covering nearly 1500 miles from the north to the south of India’s west coast in a dinky-ass three-wheeled vehicle known as an autorickshaw
For those of you who have no mental reference to work with when reading the term, this is what an autorickshaw looks like
In this race which isn’t really a race because there’s no prize and thus no incentive for getting from point A to point B the fastest, approximately 80 teams participated – the majority of which had been drunkards from Western countries with nothing better to spend their money on. The maximum number of participants – and par for the course – had been three runners per rickshaw.
On the left is Richard and on the right is Kyle, two high school buddies of mine with whom I embarked on this fool’s errand
Here are all the rickshaws ready to go at the starting point in Jaisalmer, a desert town of 78,000 near the Pakistani border in the state of Rajasthan
It’s the responsibility of each team to come up with a name and a design for their rickshaw using this template that was sent to us in the months leading up to the event. In Thailand, this sort of vehicle is known as a tuk-tuk. As such, after weeks of indecision chock-full of suggestions we couldn’t agree on, one afternoon while hanging out and watching Ghostbusters in Kyle’s basement, it was decided that we’d be known to the world as The Ghosttuksters. As Rich shot pool and I sat on my ass watching the rest of the movie, this is the design Kyle put together on the computer.
And this is how it turned out
The middle finger is classic
A prerequisite for entering The Rickshaw Run is raising a minimum of a thousand British pounds for charity, 500 of which must go to what’s touted as a rainforest-saving super-organization called Cool Earth. The three girls in this “Powered by Periods” rickshaw with roided-out cartoon vag’s painted on it had been working in conjunction with an organization that strives to spread sanitary awareness to women in remote villages. We, on the other hand, not feeling particularly passionate about any extracurricular causes, just gave all our money to Cool Earth. As of my writing this, the video we (Kyle) made for the fundraiser can still be seen here: https://www.gofundme.com/x958y27k-the-rickshaw-run-for-cool-earth
Unlike the rick in the photo previous, I don’t think the design of this one had been at all related to this team’s charity of choice.
In the center of town is Jaisalmer Fort. Built 860 years ago, it’s one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world.
Up there inside the fort are a bunch of shops, restaurants and hotels. It was in there at a place called Hotel Surja where we stayed while getting prepared in the days leading up to the race
Rickshaw Run headquarters in Jaisalmer was at a place called Jawahar Niwas Palace. This is one of the demonstrations they give about how to do basic maintenance and reparations on your rickshaw, guaranteeing that, as these machines were not built for long distance hauls, we will all break down at one point or another
Rich putting some red paint on that front wheel cover
This is a big man. And his two teammates were equally big men. As you can see, rickshaws are by no means big vehicles so there’s no doubt in my mind that these guys had been sputtering along at clown car status
This is Yogi, the manager of Hotel Surja. He took Kyle and I around town on the back of his bike, helping us to check off must-have items such as bungee cords and 2-stroke oil from our pre-Rickshaw Run shopping list
While we were at a party in Goa about ten days into the trip, some other rickshaw runner who I didn’t recognize came right up to me and said, “Hey, I’ve been looking all over for you.” I glanced around to make sure he was actually talking to me. There was no one else around. “Yeah, you. I was walking around taking photos when we were in Jaisalmer and got one of you and your buddy going past on the back of some guy’s motorbike. Why don’t you give me your email and I’ll send it to you.” Spoiler alert: This is the photo that he eventually sent to me.
Strolling around inside the fort near our hotel
View from one of those lounge-around-on-the-floor type restaurants in the fort where we ate several meals
View out that window from the photo previous
Just outside the fort on the right here is a government authorized bhang shop. Bhang is an edible preparation of cannabis. From this place you can also buy joints and bags of weed straight up
Here is a close-up of the guy in the picture before who, in my estimation, had been bhanged out of his mind. Well, that and/or suffering from mental problems. Though if he truly were mental, “suffering” wouldn’t be a suitable word to encapsulate his demeanor. He just kept smiling and giggling as he twirled that fuckin’ umbrella around like he was Mary Poppins, oblivious to all that surrounded him in the physical realm. Guy was having a great time
Here’s the owner of the bhang shop. His claim to fame is selling Anthony Bourdain some “super duper sexy strong” weed in an episode of No Reservations from over ten years ago. Do you know how I obtained that information? Well, it’s the first thing he said when introducing himself to us while drawing our attention to his shirt. Here’s a link to the aforementioned clip from No Reservations::: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEhXjnoGriI
A saloon just for jents. Sounds like what they’d call a gay bar back in the wild wild west
Photo hung on the wall of Hotel Surja. Now, I know that guy crouching behind the camels is close enough to SEE IT going in, but do you think he’s so close that he can actually SMELL IT going in?
Local Lady with henna palms
Statue modeled after the guy in the photo previous? P.s. your turban looks like the eyes of a fly
In Hindu culture cows are considered sacred and to openly show aggression or disrespect towards these four-legged milk-makers anywhere in India could potentially be life-threatening.
As long as we’re on the topic of holy cows, I’m gonna go ahead and say that this one right here likes chowing box way more than I do.
Chillin’ out and takin’ a dip the day before the race
The boys in front of Jawahar Niwas Palace in Jaisalmer as we get ready to hop in our rickshaw and drive across the country…
…swangin’ around deez American nutz.
Day 1 – Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (≈178 miles)
Rickshaw runners crowding around at Jawahar Niwas Palace listening to some official Rickshaw Run jibber-jabber just before being given the green light
Throughout the race there was an official Rickshaw Run whatsapp group where different teams could all share stories and photos of the craziest shit that happened to them throughout the day. On day one, I remember seeing a text in that group saying “Elvis has left the building” with these guys having a bunch of fucked up mechanical problems. If I remember correctly, they got towed to Jodhpur and were stuck there at the mechanic for over a week. I think it’s pretty shitty to have paid all that money to participate and then get stuck with an absolute lemon of a rickshaw.
Here we are in line, ready to roll out, waiting for the starting gun
Rich took first shift. Despite having practiced for three days leading up to the start, none of us really knew what the fuck we were doing
Don’t know the name of this team behind us, but I sure hope it’s The Mustache Riders
Holy cows walking towards a big load. Never forget: Cows ALWAYS have the right of way in India
You guys see those camel toes? Pretty hot, right? I mean, the weather, that is. We are after all in the middle of the Thar Desert.
What a sexy wall
To prevent overheating, Rickshaw Run officials advised stopping every few hours to give the engine a rest and, when giving ’em a rest, to park ’em in the shade with the engine door open in the back to promote ventilation.
We caught the attention of these here folks as we pulled into this gas station for our first fill-up
They thought three white boys in a rickshaw was just about the damnedest thing they’d ever seen
Take a picture, it’ll last longer!
I forget the exact gas/oil ratio the rickshaws ran on, but whatever it was we’d mix it up in those jerry cans before pouring it in
The “funnel” we used to get the fuel into the awkwardly placed tank
One of the first of an uncountable number of groups who drove up next to us asking us what we’re doing
Standard roadside bathroom. I only used these if I had to shit. Otherwise, I’d just pee outside
Rajasthanis showing Rich how to wrap the right way
“My turban is as wrinkled as my forehead” – actual quote
“Can we have a selfie with you? One selfie please!” people would shout while driving next to us, ignoring the road and holding a cell phone up at an angle that gets both them and us in the photo at the same time
Late in the afternoon we decided to pull off the road and climb this water tower
The final part here at the top was pretty sketchy. I mean, it’d be fine if I was sure there was rebar inside each of the steps, but I have no reason to blindly trust in the shoddiness of small town Indian construction with my life and, admittedly, had been pretty nervous
View from the top. If you look closely you can see that some guy already pulled his motorcycle up next to our rickshaw below. By the time we got to the bottom, there’d already been a crowd of curious onlookers wondering what was going on and wanting to take photos of us
This first guy who arrived though – the guy on the motorbike – he didn’t want any photos of us. He just came to tell us that we can’t climb the water tower
There he is givin’ an earful to my manses
On the outskirts of Jodhpur we encountered some mechanical problems and went sputtering to a stop. We pushed the rickshaw into a nearby mechanic shop and these guys fucked around with some tubes in the back for a couple minutes, dusted their hands off, started it up and told us we were good to go, free of charge.
Kyle had the unfortunate task of carrying us home on that first night. Traffic in Jodhpur was a bit too apeshit for three ignoramuses driving a rickshaw for the first time
At one point some respectable-looking guys in a nice car pulled up next to us and we were chatting from vehicle to vehicle and they seemed pretty cool and we didn’t know where we were going and we were getting pretty frustrated by the intensity of the traffic so when they told us to follow them to go hang out, we didn’t think twice about it. We envisioned eating a good meal together and maybe having a few drinks as they told us about their culture and stuff like that, but no. That’s not what they had in mind. They didn’t drive us to a restaurant or one of their homes or a hotel or anything like that. Instead, they had us follow them to this fucking travel agency where they tried their best to sell us camel safari tour packages. Fuckin’ dicks.
Shortly after leaving that travel agency, the sun began to set. I picked out a hotel on maps.me near the fort pictured above and began telling Kyle the directions how to get there. Even though they were crowded, we were doing alright on the wider roads. “Alright” is a relative term here I use based on our collective first-day-on-the-road skill set. “Alright” means making progress without death or injury to us or anyone whose path we crossed. “Alright” also means that none of us knew how to keep the engine running each time we came to a complete stop and, once we got it started again while in neutral, none of us could switch it into gear without it dying out unless we had some momentum. So Kyle would be restarting the engine every two minutes and then Rich and I would have to jump out in traffic and give the rick a push while trying not to get our feet run over by other drivers as he switched it into first. Once he got it in gear and started accelerating, we’d run and jump back into our seats and I’d keep telling Kyle how to get there…
…As we began to get closer to the hotel, the streets got way more narrow. Night had completely fallen and we were learning the hard way how very difficult it is to see out the grubby windshield of our rickshaw with the lights from oncoming traffic glaring on it. Thanks to the lack of streetlights, it was nearly impossible to distinguish a person crossing the road from a smudge on the glass. At some point the directions called for us to turn off this narrow yet hectic thoroughfare onto some super tight winding alleyway and Kyle did so with a vengeance. “Look out for this!” I shouted. “Look out for that! Holy shit!” I was gnashing my teeth together as we went flying past pedestrians, motorcycles and cows on this pathway not wide enough to fit two rickshaws side by side. It was intoxicating for me to see and feel how fast we were going without hitting anything…that is, until we hit something. BOOM! To our left, Kyle had smacked into and knocked over a group of motorcycles parked on the side of the road. “Should we leave a note or something?” he asks. “Fuck no!” Rich shouts as he gets out the tuktuk and starts giving it a push. “Let’s go! Start it up! Let’s get the fuck outta here!”
As the story goes, we did end up getting the fuck out of there as fast as we could and got back to one of the main roads where we found a group of rickshaw drivers hanging out on a corner waiting for fares. We were all jacked up on adrenaline and ranting and raving about just wanting to get to a hotel and the guys didn’t really speak English so it was pretty frustrating. “Look, here,” we handed one of the drivers a handful of rupees, “you get in our rickshaw and you drive us to our hotel.” I showed him the hotel on the map on my phone. “We can’t do it. Too dangerous.” The guy looks at the other drivers and shrugs then takes our money and climbs in the front of our rick. He floors it. We’re weaving in and out of traffic and he keeps glancing back at us and laughing and giving us the thumbs up. The man’s spacial awareness was off the charts. Narrowly traversing shitty traffic without slowing down and having maybe only a couple inch buffer zone on each side of the vehicle was nothing short of thrilling. Though, at the rate we were going, we should’ve gotten to the hotel in about five minutes, but it didn’t work out that way and we began growing concerned. Fifteen minutes later, he started to slow down. He pulls up to the exact spot from where we’d picked him up. “Okay,” he said, smiling. “Thank you!” And he climbed out of the rickshaw. “Wait! What the fuck!? No! You were supposed to take us to our hotel!” He’s totally confused as to why we’re pissed off and yelling at him and walks back over. All the other rickshaw drivers crowd back around. Long story short, through lots of explaining and gesturing and pointing to the map I’d pulled up on my phone, the idea was conveyed, we handed him another handful of rupees and we were taken to our hotel. We’d survived the first day.
Day 2 – Jodhpur to Abu Road (≈160 miles)
Back in Jaisalmer, the Rickshaw Run peeps told us that we should get off the main highways as much as possible to experience the “real” India. Here’s our attempt at that – a one lane path that we had to swerve off when yielding to any vehicle either coming straight at us or running us down from behind
A house just off the tiny path of a road near which we decided to pull into the shade to let the rick cool off
Maybe a whole two minutes had passed before three carloads of people pulled up around us wanting to hang out and take selfies
One carload of dudes happened to live in the big house I’d just taken a photo of. They invited us in
We met the mom of the house and were served some drinks. I know it’s traditionally a condiment, but I could’ve sworn it was a pitcher of “raita” that they’d given us. Whatever it was, Kyle’s got a cup of it in his hand there.
Back in action
Man carried along by a raging river of livestock
Big-ass Shiva statue in front of a Hindu temple
Day 3 – Abu Road to Nadiad (≈156 miles)
Where we parked the rickshaw on a hillside to watch the sunrise
Not long after watching the sunrise, our front tire began making a loud thudding noise. We were worried about it falling off and/or causing us to lose control so we pulled over near a group of rickshaw drivers who instantly ran up and crowded around us
These guys couldn’t fix it and advised us to drive to the next town, saying they’d be able to fix it there
If you love god so much, why don’t you marry him?
To retain their modesty, women in dresses can’t straddle the back of motorbikes. They sit with both legs hanging off one side
If you look on the far left of the photo, you can see Kyle taking a nappy poo, leaning his head on a pillow on the side of the rick
Here’s the next town over
We pulled up near a group of rickshaw drivers we saw hanging out and were swarmed by a crowd of people who were fascinated by our vanilla faces
Overhead view of everyone that’d been trying to catch a glimpse of us
One guy from the previous photo jumped on his motorbike and told us to follow him to a mechanic. We did. The mechanic didn’t have a garage but operated on a different street corner where some other rickshaw men had been hanging out. We were told we’d need a new bearing.
The guy second from the left is the mechanic. For fixing our front wheel, he didn’t want any money in addition to the cost of the new bearing. My first three weeks in India I’d spent visiting tourist traps up in the Hindi Heartland where I was seen as nothing more than a walking ATM, getting ripped off left and right. It’d really given me a terrible impression of Indian people as a nation of dishonest swindling tricksters and, honestly, that probably wouldn’t have changed if I didn’t do The Rickshaw Run, if I’d just gone home after visiting the Taj and Khajuraho and Delhi and all that shit. Passing through cities and towns where there’s no tourism industry and thus none of the scumbag grifters that the tourism industry attracts and breeds, this race gave me a chance to see the goodness of everyday Indian people who just wanna help you out and get you back on your way, expecting nothing in return. That, in my opinion, was the real magic of The Rickshaw Run.
Yo guy, Ray Charles called, he wants his shades back
Rich and Kyle were having a totally normal run-of-the-mill ping pong match that…
…nonetheless proved to be so entertaining for this McDonalds employee that he stood by and videotaped nearly five whole minutes of it.
Step 1: Enter the McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant
Step 2: Check the menu board
Step 3: Drive ahead to place your order at the first counter
Step 4: Go to the second counter. Pick up your order. And race off!…To me, the funniest thing about this sign was that it’s inside the restaurant. Wonder how many people come in and take notes before getting back in their cars and giving it a go.
This McDonalds manager was really into me. Wanted to do the whole phone number exchanging thing n all that jazz. N like, don’t get me wrong bro, I like your burgers and Oreo McFlurrys and all, but like, it’s not you, it’s me. Honestly. It just wouldn’t work out.
Parking lot pimpin’ some cuties outside Mickey D’s
Our goal each day was to get into town and get settled in a hotel before sunset. As you can see, on Day 3 we weren’t able to pull it off.
At a temple in Nadiad, thanking the gods for another safe day amid the madness that is Indian traffic
Day 4 – Nadiad to Daman (≈197 miles)
In Nadiad the night before, Rich bought some eggs we could throw out the ‘shaw the following morning. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time reliving my childhood, leaning out the back of our rick and chucking eggs at shit, but something about so blatantly wasting food in a country with so many starving people kinda rubbed me the wrong way. But it didn’t stop me from doing it. It didn’t make me say, “Hey, let’s find some hungry guy on the street and give him the rest of these eggs instead of watching ’em splatter on other people’s property.” It kinda hurts to admit, but when all’s said and done, I guess I am nothing more than just another spoiled, self-interested American douchebag.
Taj art on a pimped-out semi
A Taj’d-out rick
Sign in our hotel in Daman
Weird-ass rocky beach
A ruin on the beach
Swanky seaside joint where we ate dinner and watched cricket
Gimme a bowl of that Kellogg’s Corn Flask
Leaving the restaurant
Day 5 – Daman to Mumbai (≈105 miles)
No idea what river this is
We thought it’d be cool to take the rickshaw out on the beach for a few photos, but we got stuck. These things are not made for driving in sand
This guy’s a recycling genius
Village where we decided to pull over and grab some breakfast
View of the pond opposite all the women doing laundry
So very different from that which my Western eyes are used to seeing
Street view in the town nearest the laundry pond
Reminds me of that blue 3-wheeled car that always gets flipped over in old episodes of Mr. Bean
Very persistent windshield wiper sales people on the outskirts of Mumbai
Traffic getting into Mumbai absolutely sucked. Any lines painted on the road denoting lanes were viewed as a mere suggestion. It was a free-for-all.
Rickshaws aren’t allowed beyond a certain point when entering Mumbai and here we are after having already entered an area where they’re considered illegal. Alongside us in the blue is the self-proclaimed Sultan of Dharavi, the third biggest slum in the world. A supposed rags to riches story, the Sultan told us he’s now loaded out the ass and spends more money than I can imagine having sex with smokin’ hot high class hookers from all over the world. He also said that Gandhi was “the big bastard of India” and that Shiva is his favorite Hindu deity because he’s the big dick fucker god
The home of Kyle’s family friend Sunil where we were fortunate enough to spend a couple nights
View from the window in the previous photo
Balcony overlooking the Arabian Sea
“I’ll fuck ‘er” brand hookah smoke that Rich and I enjoyed with new friends Ujwal and Mili
Day 6 – Mumbai Chill Day (=0 miles)
Joining us on the stretch of road between Mumbai and Goa was Billy, another one of our high school buddies
Mili showing Kyle and Billy around Brabourne Cricket Stadium
A stroll around the Colaba neighborhood of Mumbai
The Gateway of India
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Neither of those options sound particularly appealing to me
Day 7 – Mumbai to Wai (≈143 miles)
Here we are posing with a police officer on our way out of Mumbai. As I’d mentioned, rickshaws are not allowed past a certain point in the city and, whereas we were able to sneak in undetected, we got busted trying to sneak out. I’m pretty sure this guy let us go and then we got caught by someone else who was pretty intent on getting some money out of us. I forget how big of a bribe we had to pay to be let go, but it wasn’t a big deal.
Starting to enter a mountainous area of Maharashtra
While taking a break atop this hill, we ran into some other rickshaw runners
Day 8 – Wai to Gadhinglaj (≈135 miles)
Sunrise in Wai
In small town India, “hotel” means “restaurant”. I know – confusing, right?
Blue Turban Bill – master of the Indian Head Wobble
The best view throughout the whole of The Rickshaw Run
The boys on the edge
Some backlit bullshit
Richard, Kyle and Billy holdin’ down the Ghosttukster mobile
And me tellin’ yall to SUCK IT!
Day 9 – Gadhinglaj to Baga Beach (≈82 miles)
Starting to get tropical
Uh, yeah, no way we’re gettin’ across that
As seen from the crater in the photo previous –
view of the road on which we came in and on which we’d be leaving in search of an alternate route to Baga Beach
Temple under construction
Paint that shit!
Inside the already completed Hindu temple next door
Welcome to Goa
Day 10 – Baga Chill Day (=0 miles)
I saw these ear cleaner guys back when I was in Delhi and was just as mistrustful of them here as I was of them there. Something about a stranger prodding around next to my brain using the same piece of metal he’d just stuck in someone else’s head is a major turnoff for me.
That’s not to say the guy didn’t try his damndest to win me over as a customer by presenting me with his pocket version of Yelp
“See! I have been doing this for many years!”
Kyle gave him a go.
Funny side story about Kyle while in Goa. He and I had been sharing a room and while he’d been taking a shower, I was laying on my bed and fuckin’ around on the wifi. Moments after hearing the water shut off, Kyle yells something like, “Oh my fucking god!” N I’m like, “What? What happened?” N his butt naked ass opens the door ‘n’ goes, “I went to dry myself off ‘n’ there’s this huge fucking cockroach in my towel. Can I use yours?”
“Don’t tell my mom” – sounds like the name of one of those “barely legal” porno flicks
Day 11 – Baga to Mangalore (≈241 miles)
Pepper and egg samosas
We saw this sign quite a bit while driving. Because none of us can read Devanagari script, none of us had any idea what it says or means. Nevertheless, we referred to the part written in red as a “FART” sign because to us, that’s what the four characters on the left appeared as
Lord Ganesh on somebody’s scooter
I was taking a photo out the side of the rickshaw using my digital camera while I had my phone balanced on my lap when we hit a bump and the phone went flying out the door and skipping down along the asphalt. I had the wheelman pull over and I started running back along the shoulder of the road to retrieve it when I saw a bus coming. “Oh shit! No! Don’t run it over!” Both the front and the back wheels of the bus passed on each side of my baby and I quickly ran over to grab it. Miraculously, it was unharmed. Shockproof cases are worth every penny.
Although this is one of the few accidents I got a photo of, it was one of many we saw during our two weeks on the road. The most notable had probably been half of a semi truck hanging off the side of an overpass.
Rich and Kyle went to the movie theater to watch The Fate of the Furious while I just hung out at the hotel staring at the beauty of this billboard across the street all night long
Day 12 – Mangalore to Kappad Beach (≈135 miles)
We were toying around with the idea of driving the rickshaw across this bridge but…
…when we got this close we were like, “No fuckin’ way.”
Fosters: Australian for…water?
Kappad Beach – awesome spot for a late afternoon swim
Written on the rocks at Kappad Beach: DYFI = Democratic Youth Federation of India which is affiliated with CPIM = Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Day 13 – Kappad Beach to Kochi Finish Line (≈125 miles)
By the final day of the race, we were pretty tired of rolling the dice on Indian roads. We just wanted to cross the finish line in one piece.
From the looks of it, our rickshaw had been pretty fatigued as well. Our muffler had been dangling and dragging on the ground until we duct-taped it back into place.
Show me a stretch of road in India that isn’t an accident prone area
Down in the state of Kerala, the lingua franca is Malayalam. As you can see on the sign, Malayalam has its own script which is quite different from Davanagari, the script used on the “FART” signs found in the northern states
Here’s a crappy picture showing what I thought was the scariest part about driving in India – when oncoming trucks and buses driving absurdly fast come barreling into your lane, trying to pass whoever’s in theirs. When you see this happening right in front of you, the options are to swerve the fuck out of the way or…
…end up like this guy.
Some other rickshaw runners, for whatever reason, chose not to finish the race on their own and paid a truck driver to bring them to the finish line down in Kochi
The who Bulls?
Gift of Allah
I always thought it was spelled “punanni” but it don’t matter because…
…I’m still gonna hump anyway.
Socialist Unity Centre of India
Other rickshaw runners just in front of us as we wait to board a ferry, the finish line being less than a mile from the drop-off point on the other side
We did it!
F U too Rich
This had been posted on the wall at the finish line. Kyle wrote our team’s best tale from the road as “cockroach crawling up my leg”
I know it’s anticlimactic to show more photos after we’d already crossed the finish line, but here – starting with these Chinese fishing nets – are a few of the sights we saw around Kochi after handing back the keys to our Ghosttuksters rickshaw
This dude was our waiter at a local restaurant away from all the tourist hustle and bustle and he had no idea what his shirt meant. I wish I knew who made it and how it ended up on the back of some unsuspecting chump who speaks zero English
Hardy har har
Old school rickshaw
Definitely wouldn’t see this written on a stripper’s thong
On my last day in Kochi, after Kyle and Rich had flown back to Chicago, I met this guy while walking around and ended up chatting with him for a half-hour or so. He told me that I’m a fool and that I’m living my life wrong. “Yes, yes, you are strong and handsome right now. But you will not be strong and handsome forever. You need to find a girl and take her traveling with you and you need to make her your wife! All this traveling by yourself, it is quite foolish, you know. Soon you will be too old and no one will want to marry you!”
During the afternoon of Day 8, en route to the beaches of Goa, we’d been having some problems with one of the wheels and pulled over in the middle of nowhere to figure out how we were gonna approach the issue. Not too long after we’d stopped, two guys in a pimped-out rickshaw with massive speakers came to a halt behind us. At first I thought their intention had been to help us out of the jam we were in, but when they turned up the music, jumped out their rickshaw and started shaking their bodies all crazy-like at us, I realized that that wasn’t the case. Following their lead, we temporarily abandoned our woes and joined the two Indian strangers in an impromptu dance party on the side of the road.