Is India just for extroverts?

#1 Apr 5th, 2013, 16:19
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#1
hey, i am a new member to this site, but not new to india. i am an extreme introvert, which at times seems totally incompatible with being in india. esp when traveling to small places, there are always someone who sees it as their duty to "take care of me" because i travel alone (no, i dont mean touts). but i enjoy being an observer and on my own when traveling, but i dont wanna offend anyone either, so, my question is, how to decline invitations in a polite way? especially when staying in small places. cities are really no problem at all. is india just for extroverts?

this wasnt an issue first time around as i was young, more adventorous (spelling?), and probably not as introverted then as now.
#2 Apr 5th, 2013, 17:01
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#2
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is india just for extroverts?
Certainly not. There are meditators there too. Plus: Most local married women are behaving like introverts.

As an advice: Carry a sign in a pocket, that says: "I am on Mauna vrata (temporary vow of silence)", and show that to people whom you don't want to be approached by. Ask someone to put that in the local language as well, if it seems helpful.
#3 Apr 5th, 2013, 18:41
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#3
I am deeply shocked to learn india has meditators too??? whaaat? Nobody told me just kidding. Your answer, is highly appreciated. I will try this next time something comes up.

And just for the record; I admire and appreciate the generosity and hospitality of most people in this country. Just at times it can be a bit overwhelming, and not knowing how to be left alone without offending anyone i've gone along on a lot of social stuff that just leaves me drained, is all. Anyways, thanks
#4 Apr 5th, 2013, 19:29
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#4
Don't worry. There is absolutely no need to engage with everyone that you meet in the street. It is not at all obligatory.

Three decades in London (UK) taught me how to ignore people, and, without being in any way positively unfriendly, that is what I do most of the time. Surprise: it's what they do too!
#5 Apr 5th, 2013, 21:19
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No one will be offended if you told them you wanted to be alone. Just tell them straight up if you feel they're getting too pushy. It would be worse if they misunderstood you from the beginning because you were trying to spare their feelings.
#6 Apr 6th, 2013, 02:58
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#6
okey, thanks for your input, guys.
#7 Apr 6th, 2013, 03:03
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#7
Tell people what you want, or don't want. Plainly. Simply. Without any "edge" to your voice. What they feel or come away with from the exchange is not your problem.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#8 Apr 6th, 2013, 09:03
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#8
I'm a bit of an introvert and I find India really brings me out of myself. There's no other way to react to the chaos than to roll with it.
#9 Apr 6th, 2013, 10:27
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#9
Learn to answer the question "where are you from?".

You are going to be asked that question all day every day by almost everyone you meet, more if you are a visible foreigner.
#10 Apr 6th, 2013, 10:42
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Originally Posted by adam00121 View Post Learn to answer the question "where are you from?".

You are going to be asked that question all day every day by almost everyone you meet, more if you are a visible foreigner.
And if your answer is any country that might be known by the average Indian tout, you'll be treated to a brief rundown on its history, geography and the location of various family members who have immigrated. "My brother, he goes to school in Ottawaaa!"

I usually answer "Burkina Faso" or "Turkmenistan"
#11 Apr 6th, 2013, 10:48
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#11
my answers are usually "far away". and if asked more than 3 times, it is "very far away". with a nod of understanding.
#12 Apr 6th, 2013, 14:55
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#12
Yesterday, I was asked what my state was. Having ruled out marital, (she was intensely pretty but 40 years younger) I was toying with emotional, mental, etc, when she clarified with the more usual, "native place."
#13 Apr 6th, 2013, 22:37
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#13
theres really no problem in the cities or with touts. being a social worker and a hobby-sociologist i enjoy talking to touts in my opinion, they are the indian equivalent to the disadvantaged youth i work with back home.

i posted this question after a particular stay at a small place where out of some misguided hospitality the hotel manager took it upon himself to treat me as a family guest. i appreciate that kind of hospitality, but it was just too much and i didnt know what i could say to get some time for myself without offending this person (or him thinking "these westerners are so ungrateful" or such), so i ended up leaving the town instead. anyways, this will not be a problem anymore, since i am now on Mauna vrata
#14 Apr 6th, 2013, 22:52
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#14
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Originally Posted by miz_biz View Post theres really no problem in the cities or with touts. being a social worker and a hobby-sociologist i enjoy talking to touts in my opinion, they are the indian equivalent to the disadvantaged youth i work with back home.
This is interesting miz biz . I've read other people here saying that they've had good conversations with touts. How do you manage to get them to switch from seeing you as just another foreign tourist to make money from to a person worth spending time talking to? Are you aware of the moment when the transition happens and they give up on the hard sell and move to a more equal conversational exchange?
#15 Apr 7th, 2013, 11:22
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#15
well, you must understand that indian definition of "personal space" differs from other countries, and I guess that is the root of all problems.

In the indian context, no area of life is barred to explorations, and if it is an white girl from foreign lands, then the questioning quickly turns to an interrogation, and pretty soon the witness is declared "hostile".
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