I would do the Rickshaw Run again. I know this in a heartbeat. Because even when this crazy adventure was bad it was still good. It was frustrating and shocking and exhausting and sad but it was always also good.
I have to be honest. I am over the rickshaw run. I’m over the breakdowns. I’m over running out of gas. I’m over the traffic and the honking and the screams of “Hello, where are you from? WHAT COUNTRY?” I am over the goddamned Parle-G biscuits. I swear to you I will never again eat a Parle-G biscuit.
We are driving through Gujarat now, an Industrial state we were warned to avoid. The beauty and magic of our time in Rajasthan feels like a distant dream. In Gujarat we see a different side of India. It is dirty and ugly here and the level of poverty is profound. Suffering is everywhere.
The rickshaw was on her last leg as we bumped by a tiny village. Village, in fact, might be too strong of a word. Five shambled structures sat at the intersection of two dirt roads. A group of men stood in front of them. We stopped the rickshaw. We had to. The men stared but kept their distance. Who knows what they were thinking?
I have a bucket list. I’ve got 83 things on this list. Big things and I add to it often. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. I want to buy a campervan and drive it across Australia. I want to do an ironman triathlon. I want to write a book.
Never once in the history of my bucket list have I ever considered adding: “Drive a three-wheeled rickshaw 3,500 kilometers down the sub-continent of India.”
It has been only two weeks since I announced that I’d be participating in the 2013 Rickshaw Run with Hannah of Furtherbound and Sarah of Sarah Somewhere. So much has happened in those two weeks. An update announcing new Team Namaste Outta My Way supporters and other fun news.