Thursday, November 26, 2015

Diminishing Trade - Trishaw riders

Where else do you get to sit on a Trishaw apart from the one in Land Transport Authority Gallery? It was unplanned when we left Odeon Towers (Right beside Bras Basar Macdonalds) when this uncle riding a trishaw came by. Xav saw it coming and asked if he could take a ride.

Seriously, the first thought that came to my mind was, is this going to cost a bomb as gone area the era of travelling by trishaws when I paid like $1.50 - $2 for a trip to school. In the modern days, this trade is dying off. Nowadays, trishaws are mainly used to offer tri-shaw tours for tourists.

Initially, uncle thought that we were tourists and offered his trishaw tour services. Then, I asked him for the price and he asked me where would I like to go. I would pretty much guess that it's based on our destinations. He told me that usually for pax of 3 heads, it usually costs around $35 but he said for the kids to experience the ride, he would just charged us $10.

To some, it may seemed that for $10, you would rather take a taxi and go further. I agreed to it because Xav seldom request us to buy him toys unless he really like it. Since he requested for this, I am more than willing to pay the $10 to buy him an experience. So off we go, we played tourists for a short moment!

Uncle was really friendly and could communicate pretty well in English. He was very nice and insisted to take pictures for us saying that the kids will remember the ride when they look at the photos next time. He made sure we were safely and comfortably seated on the cushion seat.

He rode across the road towards Raffles Hotel direction. Frankly,  I was a little worried about the on coming traffic from behind but uncle told me not worry ! Surprisingly, the buses and the cars were pretty accommodating as he rode along the left lane of the road and on pavement most of the time. As he paddled on with his strong legs, he spoke and introduced us the landmarks as though we were tourists at the same time.

Uncle would stop by and take pictures for us. He was really nice and taking the extra effort to snap for us despite having to tell him it's ok to just pass by !

@ Raffles Hotel

As we approached Shaw Towers, this building is pretty rich in it's history too !

History of Shaw Towers :
1977 : Official opening of Jade Theatre (翡翠戏院) and Prince Theatre (太子戏院) by the Shaw Organisation which was built much earlier in 1970 on the former sites of Alhambra and Marlborough Theatres.
1988 : The above theatres were expanded to two halls each, known as Jade 1 and Jade 2, Prince 1 and Prince 2.
1991 : Jade 2 was converted into Jade Classic (新艺戏院) to cater for the niche art house audience.
1996 : Cinemas at Shaw Towers were sold to the United Artists and the four halls were renamed as Grand Prince, Alhambra, Royal Jade and Emerald.
2001 : Shaw Organisation bought back the cinemas which operated for 7 years before their closure.

As Uncle paddled along, we had a casual chat as he shared a little of his life with me while Vera was happily sounding the horn !

I did not bother to time the duration but I can tell you both the kids and myself enjoyed the short ride before we alighted at the bustling Bugis Street.

Right opposite Bugis Street, behind Fu Lu Shou Complex is an area where you can find Trishaws made available for Trishaw Tours and the price for a standard trishaw ride starts from $25 to $36 per person. Click to find out where else you can find Tri-Shaw Tours if you did not happen to catch him. He told me he will usually be at Raffles Hotel and Bugis vicinity.

I thought it would be  pretty cool if I can get to ride on his tri-shaw again, perhaps this time to Boat quay or Chinatown and listen to his stories.

As for Xav, he got to see how hard trishaw riders have to work as they need to toil under the hot sun and rain just to bring back an income. Life was not as easy for the older generation.

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