Frustrating search for my personal tuk-tuk driver in Sri Lanka
Have you ever think about making up your family? Talking about your an unreal husband or your beautiful unborn babies? Well...I did ...in Sri Lanka.
Written by Lea
Searching for a professional driver in Sri Lanka can be a pain. While working for Victoria’s Secret in the capital Colombo as a fit-model, I had two opportunities to choose from – I will pay more to have my car with a driver or I could find a taxi driver on a regular basis on my own and save a lot of money. I chosed the second option and here is my story. And advice, if you’ll take it..
As a “white girl” (I am not being racist at all, but this is how Sri Lankans perceive Westerns celarly), living in the second world country, a ring on your finger (even a fake one) and the story about your husband might be really handy. Sri Lankan men can be rather sticky, mostly the tuk-tuk drivers from my personal experience. So arm yourself with patience and good stories to tell.
A story about my fake husband
It was one of those hot mornings, I was sitting in tuk-tuk, rushing into the VS fit-room. Yes, tuk-tuk, that crazy red three-wheeler, I just randomly jumped into when it was passing by.
“Gut mo’ning, ma’m!” the driver started with small talk, as tuk-tuk drivers in Sri Lanka mostly do. Srilankan tuk-tukers just love to talk to their customers, especially to foreigners. They keep asking you about your name, country, family, husband, work, salary, address, anything… Even if they don’t speak well, they’ll keep talking.
With all my experiences in Sri Lanka with three-wheelers drivers so far, I was highly expecting this very question:
“Where are you from, ma’m?”, the skinny driver asked with his yodeling Sri Lankan accent. “Which country?”
“I am from Europe,” I cut off. It might sounded a bit harsh, but it was only because of my protection after months spending in Sri Lanka. Normally, there is a silence after my short disinterested answer. However, this driver was pretty nagging.
“Are you married, ma’m? Married, married?” the driver asked twice. Shaking his head and kept looking at me in the rear-view mirror.
“Yes, I am.” (Actually, I hadn’t been at that moment, yet. I was engaged, but wearing an engagement ring and showing it to that tuk-tuk driver was the first I what came into my mind.
“You have babies?” he didn’t stop asking, despite the fact I kept my eyes out of his sight and was watching the other way with no interest in further conversation.
“You have babies, babies?” he repeated a bit louder and more aggresie, but with big smile.
“Yes, one,” I seriously started to make up the story about my fake family. At the moment I found myself holding my phone with a random picture of my friend’s baby. And I started to pretend it’s mine. He kept asking, and I kept lying. Neverending story, very exhausting.
I was searching for a regular taxi driver who would be driving me to work every morning instead of paying a lot of money for my own car and a driver. Maybe I should have considered the other option.
After 30 minutes of talking to him, I’ve decided, he will be the one! My new driver! Now, as he thinks I am married, I have a baby he might not be that sticky, right? As a plus, he was quite easy-going, too. I left him my number and told him to pick me up the very next morning at 8am. Perfect! Finally, I found my new driver!
I arrived home, exhausted. I made myself a hot cup of tea and turned on the AC on trying to relax for a moment after another busy day in Colombo. Suddenly, my phone buzzed.
Suddenly, my phone buzzed.
“Good evening ma’m, how are you? What are yo doing?” Yes, it was my new driver! I ignored this message, to show him this is quite inappropriate. After two hours, another message beeped.
Yes, it was my new driver! I ignored this message, to show him this is quite inappropriate. After two hours, another message beeped.
“Hey ma’m, what are you doing? Do you wanna have a drink?”
This was the last drop. I lost my temper, this is insane! And so I didn’t call him anymore.
I felt disappointed, is it really impossible to find a well-behaved professional in this country?! This was already my 9th attempt to find a good personal driver through the taxi agency. Unfortunately, most of Sri Lankans just do not know where are the limits in approaching customers, especially young foreign ladies. And this is quite frustrating while living in this beautiful island.
My advice, be patient or learn to be when in this paradise. Because you cannot change Sri Lankans. I have tried many times – wasting of energy. And once you know this, have fun!