So what adjustments have I made thus far? It's taken a few days, but I think I'm getting a handle on haggling with rickshaw drivers. It's a pretty standard routine once you know what to do. First off, you should agree on a price before getting in the rickshaw, and always pay at least 25% below whatever they quote you. Sometimes, if there is a group of cabbies, they'll collude on a price.....in which case you just have to name your price and walk away. Within 10 seconds, one of the colluders will inevitably break rank and undercut his peers.....thats when the bidding war starts :)
Haggling has also taught me a lot about reading people's body language. Indians are very slick with their words, and can be extremely convincing at face value. BUT....if they quote you a price and crack smile, you know that you're being fleeced. Usually you'll haggle over 30 or 40 rupees (75 cents to a dollar). It's not the money, but rather the principle that counts. You shouldn't let people take full advantage of you just because you are a foreigner. Nonetheless, I have to admit that it's damn fun....and is usually done very jokingly.
I guess that's all for now. I've got a few more things I'd like to write about later, most notably the ridiculously chaotic "driving" that endemic in this country, and the zoo that lives in the streets.