Why do foreigners do this?

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#1 Sep 25th, 2013, 18:57
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#1
I was in Leh a few days back and there the only option to go sightseeing is via taxi. So, me and a friend booked a taxi( through a travel agency) for Tso moriri which is 250 kms / 6 hours from Leh . The cost was 8,000 INR which could be divided between as many people as could fit inside the taxi Now to increase the headcount we put a notice outside the agency's office. Other than that we started talking to as many foreigners as we could lay our eyes upon; we went to cafes, restaurants, my hotel, other agencies and talked about taxi sharing , how beautiful Moriri is and how cheap it would be. Everytime I tried, I had people staring at me with suspicion, an English couple scanned me from top to bottom with their eyes ( as if I was carrying a gun) and replied in negative; two French guys made some lame excuse even though they had similar plans ( and loads of money too i guess ), a guy ( not American, European maybe had a strange accent ) with an American woman said " Hey look I don't wanna go and am pretty sure she's not going there too!". He looked so protective I wanted to punch him in the face and tell him I wasn't there for his woman!

But that is all understandable people not wanting to go okay. When we were actually going there we saw many of the people whom we had asked travelling to the same destination which was really sad. I felt like an Afghan Mujahideen who was trying to gather people to behead them that too just for fun.

Can anybody explain this phenomenon ? or is it that when Indian tourists walk up to foreign tourists for help assistance, foreigners assume that the man is a terrorist/gangster/scamster etc.?

P.S : There is a dearth of Indian travellers in Leh so you have to turn to foreigners or locals .
#2 Sep 25th, 2013, 19:05
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#2
travelmendak

I think the problem is that we don't know that you are a tourist and assume that you are a tout hustling something or other. Sales techniques in India seem very pushy/aggressive compared with many places in the West. Once you have been on the receiving end of this a few times there is a tendency to blank out people who approach you with propositions for transport, guides, cheap raybans, etc etc.

I'm afraid that I don't have a suggestion as to how to solve your problem.
#3 Sep 25th, 2013, 19:29
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#3
Its not just about foreigners. I too would have hesitated to have taken up your offer.

1. I don't now you.
2. My schedule might be different.
3. I would like privacy and prefer to do it on my own, even if it is expensive.

And even if I wanted to believe you, I would form an opinion based on your behaviour, communication etc.

I think in the modern world, travellers will take some time to trust another person until and unless she has no choice, or because the environment is all trustworthy. My two cents.
#4 Sep 25th, 2013, 19:48
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#4
.


I don't think it is a problem with the foreigners or the locals.

The problem seems to be you.

You have a difficult time accepting the fact that they don't want to travel with you.
#5 Sep 25th, 2013, 19:56
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Maybe it's because you have gone to talk to people with the intention of finding travellers to join you. If you had just talked to fellow travellers because you were interested in them, and their travels and their plans you could have then gently slipped into the conversation that your plans seem similar and it might be a good idea to travel together to keep costs down.

If I were visiting a strange country and a fellow traveller came up to me to directly discuss travelling with me somewhere I'd be suspicious / wary too. I am more likely to accept if I feel I have begun to know you and developed some trust between us.
#6 Sep 25th, 2013, 19:59
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#6
This has to be one of the most worthless pondering ever in history.

You still have a lot of distance to cover to break my record though.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#7 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:11
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#7
I wouldn't want to share a taxi anywhere in the world with a stranger who came up to me out of the blue; offering me this deal, even if it meant saving money.

The things that go through my head are what's the catch here and am I going to be mugged and left on the side of the road if I accept this offer.

Your best bet, in my opinion, would have been to rely on the notice outside the taxi company/booking office. If I came to the taxi company looking for a quote and saw the notice, I might enquire about it and might even try, if the deal is appealing to me to make my travel plans accordingly. I have done this in the past, but this was due to the fact that this was advertised by the taxi company to everyone who came to their office and is not laced with a pushy 'get this deal or regret' sort of vibe.
#8 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:22
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#8
The problem is money! Being ousted in one's own land feels terrible :'(

I respect everyone's privacy/time etc. but when people are sharing taxis but just because me and a friend could directly approach and ask them we were denied seems weird.
#9 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:31
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmendak View Post The problem is money! Being ousted in one's own land feels terrible :'(
Ousted? By whom? from where? You asked people to share the taxi, they refused, how did this ousted from one's own land come from!

And why are people in any compulsion to accept your proposal? Think about it harder, you will find your own assessment weird.
#10 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:43
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#10
I was visiting scenic national park in Borneo a couple of years ago. I remember at one of the attractions I overheard a group of guys discussing a trek they were thinking about undertaking. I was interested in the same trek and asked them if they had a complete group yet. Turns out they still needed another body so I joined them for three fantastic days in a remote jungle. They were tourists, that much was obvious, I had no worries.

I think you underestimate how difficult it can be for someone to determine who is the honest local in India, and who is the scammer, nor with the frequency that scams are perpetrated against the unwitting traveler in India. I seriously doubt I would have taken you up on the offer, just not worth my time or the risk of getting dragged into something I want no part in.
#11 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:44
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#11
i think foreigners are more trusting of foreigners than indians because indians are constantly ripping us off where as the foreigners are not. we don't know how to distinguish between the honest indians and the others because they all seem alright\nice\friendly\helpful at first and then BAM ripoff....so it's easiest for us to not trust any indians especially when we don't need to to make our trip enjoyable. sad but true.
#12 Sep 25th, 2013, 20:55
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#12
I am an Indian.
If a stranger approached me to offer a deal to share a vehicle to a remote location I would outright refuse. His nationality would not matter.

I have visited Leh in 2007. We availed such shared vehicles too - for pangong(6 people) and Khardung-la(4 people). In both the cases all other occupants of the vehicles were foreigners. We did not have to go in search of people ourselves. the travel agency we spoke to(in Leh market) arranged the other passengers for us. There were plenty of notices posted outside their shop.
#13 Sep 26th, 2013, 04:44
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#13
Yeah, I think it is because the foreign tourists in Leh feel almost assaulted by pushy touts every time they walk down the Main Bazaar, and they get very wary. To be frank, it is mostly the Kashmiri carpet and souvenir shops guys who are very pushy, in a very clever, smooth, intrusive way. They say "Good morning" in a very friendly way, or "Jullay" but after a foreigner has been in town for a day, he or she realises that all those innocent approaches or attempts at conversation are absolutely phony and only an attempt to suck them into to buying something overpriced that they didn't want.

Well, people selling travel services haven't started doing that in Leh, but surely those foreigners you approached thought you might be the first of a new type they hadn't run into yet.

It might be hard for you to imagine how horrible it is for foreign tourists in this country to constantly have touts and carpet sellers trying to talk them up and sell something. My Indian spouse was horrified on the first direct exposure, though I was long hardened to it by then, and could hardheartedly ignore people who were whispering and hissing "Excuse me, hello!" in both my ears from all sides.
#14 Sep 26th, 2013, 05:16
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#14
The question referred to 'foreigners' and as one I can say Dave hit the nail on the head.

As a foreigner we get approached about 50 times a day by locals selling taxis, bike rental, tours, hotels etc. Because of this, we develop an automatic no and distrust of anyone who may appear local.

It's sad, it truly is and I wish it wasn't that way. Unfortunately, dealing with touts requires such a level of distrust, and whilst its regrettable, innocent peoples feelings will occasionally be hurt in the process.

Its not intentional, it's not personal and neccesary for survival in such a foreign land. If the shoe was on the other foot you'd do exactly the same.

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#15 Sep 26th, 2013, 05:44
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#15
Well its quite simple really , its has everything to do with perception and preconceived notions! You assume that all foreigners are: friendly,jovial, logical,objective, open,unbiased,secure , non-racial folks, who see you as an equal human being with similar values, and they see you as a possible: threat ,a con-man, someone with an hidden agenda ,someone whose association is likely to cause harm or a loss of some kind , as someone with something to sell, inferior, as someone after their money or as someone looking for sex !
Hence they don't want to have anything to do with anyone who looks local! Just because one hasn't experienced what another has, ridiculing , or being dismissive of his concern is immature to say the least. It is not worthless pondering, this is something many Indians tourist who meet foreign travelers, and expect to be treated as equals or kindered spirits experience!
Quote:
i think foreigners are more trusting of foreigners than indians because indians are constantly ripping us off where as the foreigners are not.
Hope this helps you reconsider some of your preconceived beliefs:
Mumbai world's second-most honest city: Readers' Digest experiment
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/mumbai-wo.../424569-2.html
Last edited by happyhippy; Sep 26th, 2013 at 09:42..
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