I’ve been taking autos enough now that I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable with the whole dickering process, and I no longer take it personally when an auto driver says he won’t take me. Recently though I had two experiences that were actually fun, and kind of funny when negotiating with an auto.
I assume we all know how auto drivers never seem to be able to make change for larger bills. Despite the fact that every fare is paying in 10s and 20s, if you want change for a 100 or even a 50 they never seem to have it. Well this time I was coming home, and the meter fare would have been under 20. When I got in I didn’t say anything and he didn’t start the meter (this is a pretty common occurance for me now days when I know what the fare should be.) We go to my place and I gave him 20 rupees. “30 rupees boss.” “Sorry, all I have is 20 and 100.” So the auto driver accepted 20, since apparently his unwillingness to admit he could make change outweighed his desire to dicker for an additional few rupees.
Second story happened last night. Wanted to go from Infantry Road to Bangalore Central. I’d normally pay 20, sometimes 30, I’m bargaining with the guy and he says “40″ I say “no no, too much, 30″ this goes back and forth for a little while till finally I think he says “30″ and he motions to get in. I get in and say “ok, 30″ he cracks up and I realize that he really said “40″ and motioned to get in and I mis-heard him but he thinks I’m scamming him and thinks it’s funny. Anyway when we get there I give him 30, then dig out a 5 and say “we’ll split the difference.” He laughs with delight and says thanks.
I’m going to have to remember both of those ploys though. I think they’ll come in handy. Do other people have funny “turn the tables” on auto driver stories? I’m sure we all have lots of unhappy auto stories, but what about funny stories with happy endings?