Peasant Chic Won't Fly in Calcutta


For a while now, it's been possible to hail a rickshaw on the streets of Manhattan. As of next week, it is illegal to do so on the streets of Calcutta:

Communist state authorities announced last week their intent to ban the hand-pulled rickshaws, saying they consider the practice "inhuman"—not to mention bad for the city's image.

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  1. I admit I’d feel kinda uncomfortable having somebody pull me around in a rickshaw, especially as I am a kinda chunky dude.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be banned from pulling one myself as a source of income. And think of the workout! Plus they say it’s not quite as hard as it looks.

  2. Did anyone else see the Seinfeld where Kraemer and Newman get a rickshaw and try to hire homeless people to run around with it? I guess life imitates art.

  3. Did anyone else see the Seinfeld where Kraemer and Newman get a rickshaw and try to hire homeless people to run around with it? I guess life imitates art.

  4. Kramer was there first, but like in many things, a visionary at the wrong time.

  5. There will be a play in Old Calcutta
    called “O Manhattan!”
    where the cast will all be over-dressed.
    — the seer

    There is a caste system on Broadway.

  6. I’m a little disappointed to not see a Seinfeld shoutout in either this piece or the orignal article.

  7. The Calcutta Communists went on to say that rickshaws drawn by dwarfs or the Japanese would still be allowed, as they are not truly human to begin with…

    And yes, The Calcutta Communists would be a great band name.

  8. Still in Hong Kong but they get paid a fortune as a tourist rip off. Still like Stevo, I’d end up looking like Newman in Seinfeld getting carted around by Kramer.

    But you only have to go to Atlantic City to have a similar experience by having some poor college student from Eastern Europe push you around in their ‘rolling chairs’ to have the same effect.

    Talk the kids doing it sometime, they get conned into signing contracts back at their colleges only to come over to the US and find out they have to pay rent on the chairs, extra housing costs, etc. They barely break even.

    Goes under the ‘why they hate us’ category

  9. If you want to talk about bad for the city’s image, what about being part of a communist-ruled province!

  10. So what? We export high income tech jobs, they export low-tech inhuman slave-transportation … its a good trade.


  11. Yes, now they can have even more 2 stroke engines burning tons of oil and gas- always good for a city’s image. Add in the cost of the motor, oil and gas to the additional cost of the polution and this looks better and better!

  12. Prolly help if they cleaned up the crap in the streets so you couldn’t smell Calcutta ten miles offshore too.

  13. you have to wonder what they’d think of the bicycle-powered rickshaws prevalent in downtown San Diego…

  14. One of the great things about communism is, communists are always reminding us why their system doesn’t work.

  15. This is great, now there is something other than cows that I can use to differentiate New York from Calcutta.

  16. The commies are destroying livelihoods and being obnoxious. But for commies it can, of course, be far worse.

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