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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mass Transit, Sri Lankan Style

Orange vendor on a bus selling his wares as we wait to go.

I've mentioned Tuk-Tuks a couple times. If you've ever been to south Asia you'll know what I'm talking about. These ubiquitous three wheelers are EVERYWHERE! They compete with buses,trucks (lorries, in the vernacular), vans, cars, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians for road space, making every trip an adventure. Normally two or three passengers can be handled "comfortably," but I've heard of as many as 11 passengers. Those wheels must have been flat! Tuk-Tuk drivers are almost universally friendly, courteous, knowledgable (Many, though illiterate, speak several languages fluently. Business is business throughout the world after all.) and drive like they're on crack.

I'd love to have a Tuk-Tuk here to putter around the community. I'm pretty sure, however, there is NO WAY a Tuk-Tuk could ever be legally licensed.

The buses are great. In the major cities they run constantly, pretty much on time and they are cheap. Depending on the degree of "luxury" you're willing to pay for a two hour ride can cost as low as 27 rupees (about 30 cents) or as high as Rs135 ($1.40)for an air conditioned, newer version. The bus drivers, like the Tuk-Tuk drivers, are also universally on crack, I'm pretty sure.

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