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#31 May 9th, 2016, 20:13
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  • atala is offline
#31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post
Be friendly. it's good! But don't be any more friendly than you want to be.
A traveller in India can be annoyed at practically every step, as Indians are right in your face all the time. You, Nick, as a resident, have many retreat options: your car, your house, quiet places in town. The traveller, however, is exposed 24/7 without any retreat option whatsoever (including in the hotel room, where he is exposed to service people trying to get tips etc).

So there is the choice: Am I going to respond as it happens, as the present mood dictates, to some negative (and thereby hurt myself), to some friendly and feel good with it? Or do I decide to take everything lightly, be friendly with everyone who approaches me.

Friendly does not mean I am their friend, except in the Indian way, where touts address you as "friend". Friendly just means, I am not going to hurt myself and get annoyed with any encounter whatsoever. Because it is me who is going to suffer the most.

This sort of friendliness takes insight into your own reactions and tendencies, it takes decision and effort. That is what India teaches. (At least, it taught me over the years, and I was morose a lot in the beginning.)
#32 May 9th, 2016, 21:12
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#32
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post A traveller in India can be annoyed at practically every step, as Indians are right in your face all the time. You, Nick, as a resident, have many retreat options: your car, your house, quiet places in town. The traveller, however, is exposed 24/7 without any retreat option whatsoever (including in the hotel room, where he is exposed to service people trying to get tips etc).
Very true. I'm at home. It is a different matter when my wife and I board the plane or train to some other corner of India where I cease to be a resident and become like any other tourist.
~
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#33 May 9th, 2016, 23:52
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#33
But be respectful and not rude. I saw a traveler in Pushkar be rude to a guy with a cow with an arm coming from it's shoulder and was asking for alms. He basically told the guy to F off. Not cool! I guess he couldn't handle India. India isn't for wimps!
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#34 May 10th, 2016, 02:44
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#34
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Originally Posted by zamba View Post The trick is to have fun with it. When I am asked " what country from", I answer Botswana or whichever country pops into my head.
Yeah, I tried that one during my first trip to Asia. A drunk guy in a night market in South-East Asia asked me where I was from, and I thought I'd shut him up by answering "Brazil." But he lit up with great interest: "Ooh, Brazil? I was in the navy and Brazil is my favorite country! Which place, Rio, Sau Paolo?"

Phooey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post People do sometimes ask me where I come from. I tell them the name of my Chennai suburb. Sometimes they enquire, sometimes I may even volunteer that my mother country is UK. I'm not unfriendly; I quite like a quick chat. I'll happily tell people that I have an Indian wife, grown-up step-children and I've been here ten years. That tends to be the end of the conversation. Perhaps I'm not as interesting as a real visitor!
Yeah, I've had pretty much this exact conversation (details changed) about every other week for the past ten years. It gets old.
#35 May 10th, 2016, 15:44
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#35
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... he lit up with great interest: "Ooh, Brazil? I was in the navy and Brazil is my favorite country! Which place, Rio, Sau Paolo?
I was once approached on the street by a scruffy old beggar. OK, he was scruffy, and he was elderly, but beggar he was not! It turned out that he also was an one-time seaman who spoke excellent English, and, on quizzing me as to where-in-London I came from, informed me that he had spent some years living just down the road!

The Londoner's knack of treating the rest of the world as if they don't exist is good training for avoiding intrusive encounters, but... use with discretion!
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