Is India just for extroverts?

#16 Apr 7th, 2013, 12:42
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#16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post . 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?
What I do is I take them seriously on first contact. I talk to them as the person they are, and about the job they do and the product they sell, and reveal something of my background to them and show some sympathy for their "hard work", if appropriate. They are used to a "hard sell", and in this way I get them off-guard, and we smile together and he already knows that I am not going to buy a thing.

Touts are a good source of information about a market situation, what the going rate of goods is, where good places, shops etc are (let's say with the gem situation in Jaipur); in my view they are only good, if you are not serious to buy though, just if you want to explore.

With hawkers offering me some item in the street, I take it, thank them for their generosity and walk away (they'll get it back of course). In that way everyone else around sees I am just joking with them.
#17 Apr 7th, 2013, 16:10
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#17
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What I do is I take them seriously on first contact. I talk to them as the person they are, and about the job they do and the product they sell, and reveal something of my background to them and show some sympathy for their "hard work", if appropriate. They are used to a "hard sell", and in this way I get them off-guard, and we smile together and he already knows that I am not going to buy a thing.
That's fine if you want to talk to them at all. On the other hand, if one is going somewhere, not in the market for buying, not in the mood or lacking the time for general socialising, etc, then they are just a nuisance.
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i enjoy talking to touts in my opinion, they are the indian equivalent to the disadvantaged youth i work with back home.
Actually, they are more like the door-to-door salesmen and the cold-calling telesales staff that you see at home. Why assume that they are disadvantaged?
Quote:
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?
You are interrupting their work. Whereas many people are only too glad to take a few minutes off, I'm sure that touts go out to sell: they do not get up in the morning hoping that some foreign tourist is, that day, going to see them as a human being!

But hey, we have a whole thread(s) on touts...
#18 Apr 7th, 2013, 16:50
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#18
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post That's fine if you want to talk to them at all. On the other hand, if one is going somewhere, not in the market for buying, not in the mood or lacking the time for general socialising, etc, then they are just a nuisance.
Such an exchange can last about 1 minute, too. And what I did not say, I may continue to walk, and he is just entertaining me. Meanwhile everyone else with an idea to prey on me notices, that I am not going to be a victim of theirs.

If I don't want their attention, I'll just ignore them. With me this works practically always.

Quote:
just a nuisance
Seriously, what is not a nuisance on an Indian road? The over-crowded streets, the dirt every where, the dust from cleaners, the traffic, the dog-shit you might step into if not attentive, the Rickshaws asking to use them, shop-keepers demanding attention, and everyone else staring at you. Compared to all this, what is the nuisance of a tout? Hey, it is part of the Indian experience.
#19 Apr 7th, 2013, 18:10
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#19
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Originally Posted by adam00121 View Post 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,
You're making an assumption there about the OP and as it happens that assumption is wrong. She is not white. (http://www.indiamike.com/india/movin...9/#post1570266)

And while we're on it, please don't refer to adult women as girls.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post What I do is I take them seriously on first contact. I talk to them as the person they are, and about the job they do and the product they sell, and reveal something of my background to them and show some sympathy for their "hard work", if appropriate. They are used to a "hard sell", and in this way I get them off-guard, and we smile together and he already knows that I am not going to buy a thing.

Thanks atala.

I have always regarded touts as a nuisance and I have pretty much perfected the art of getting rid of them, so I am curious when people say they enjoy talking to them and I always wonder how that transition from hard sell to conversation can happen.
#20 Apr 7th, 2013, 20:14
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#20
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Originally Posted by atala View Post Such an exchange can last about 1 minute, too. And what I did not say, I may continue to walk, and he is just entertaining me. Meanwhile everyone else with an idea to prey on me notices, that I am not going to be a victim of theirs.

If I don't want their attention, I'll just ignore them. With me this works practically always.
Yes, good points.
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And while we're on it, please don't refer to adult women as girls.
Partly cultural, partly, perhaps, not having had the lecture on why (Thanks, Ms Scoones, c.1990 ).

It is quite common for men and women well into their twenties, or older, to be called boys and girls. I guess matrimonial ads would refer to a "girl" even if she was 60. She'd be looking for a "boy" too

That may, or may not, be part of certain problems. I don't think I'm sufficiently clued in to the sociolinguistic niceties to be sure of that.
#21 Apr 7th, 2013, 21:04
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#21
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Is India just for extroverts?
Actually, I think it is correct to say that India is mainly only for extroverts.

To make this point let me tell my experiences on the road: I used to drive a Bullet (a heavy bike). To be able to drive that one almost has to be pushy. After a while I got sick of having to dominate on the road, and I changed to Kinetic Honda, now a Hero Activa, a kind of Vespa, or the like. With that I can drive any speed, even super-slow ones (hard to do with a heavy bike).

I had started to feel in a clinch: Should I "do as the Romans do" (as Indians like to say) and force my way through traffic like them, or would I get ahead also if I were respectful of other people's rights, like I would do in the West? I started to do that when feasable.

The reality, though, is that people expect you to be pushy. If I give people the right of way who are not expecting it, like a pedestrian desiring to cross the road, they are puzzled. Same thing when I walk and let others pass or cross first, like in a bazar.

My clinch situation actually was that I felt being pushy aggravates me emotionally, as I am tendentially also more introvert. I got similar feelings with having to shield against touts and other pushy folks around me; that is why a change in attitude helped me: which meant being basically friendly with everyone around including touts and pushy drivers instead of seeing them as invaders of my space or my rights.
#22 Apr 7th, 2013, 21:41
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#22
No. Introverts who, la Gandhi, refuse to cooperate - can navigate just as effectively as the more 'squeaky wheels'. Body language speaks volumes in India too - so one doesn't have to say a word in order to get the 'message' across and be essentially an assertive introvert. And now Madame, may I ask your age, marital status, &/or how many children you have?
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

http://www.derekgrantdigital.com
#23 Apr 7th, 2013, 21:46
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#23
India is for people who want to go to India. Introvert, extrovert, bring 'em! and Welcome , we're all there
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#24 Apr 8th, 2013, 02:21
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#24
Darmabum hits the nail on the head!

As a person who drives a car in an Indian city, I understand that it is necessary to be pushy, and to have a little aggression. Mind you, that was true of driving in London as well! Having just enough pushiness and aggression to get by is not the same as being extrovert. Might be different on a bike, though, given the much greater exposure.
#25 Apr 8th, 2013, 13:35
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#25
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And while we're on it, please don't refer to adult women as girls.
@JuliaF : My apologies, i was thinking in hindi and typing in english. Also, I am not aware ( nor wish to find out) if OP is male of female. It was a general comment.
#26 Apr 8th, 2013, 14:12
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#26
Does the OP mean extrovert tourist?

I am an introvert and I get by fine. Introvert doesnot mean pushover
#27 Apr 8th, 2013, 14:50
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#27

On persons tout...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post This is interesting miz biz . I've read other people here saying that they've had good conversations with touts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post
I have always regarded touts as a nuisance and I have pretty much perfected the art of getting rid of them, so I am curious when people say they enjoy talking to them and I always wonder how that transition from hard sell to conversation can happen.
One person's tout, is another's fixer.

On my third trip to Rio (GIG), I was on my own, I had no safety cover. I was having drinks with an old acquaintance from New York in the safety and comfort of my hotel bar; but he was unwilling to be brave - He suggested a tout a.k.a fixer for my destination. A day or two weaving in and out of a favela (shanties) where he lived, talking and hanging out with older people (60-65+) Structurally, I was not buying what he was selling. On the other hand, I needed what he had, so I had to negotiate a deal.

I have used touts/fixers in some of the current and past trouble spots in the world. Certainly places and things one wants to do, and there is no guide book for that - You need a fixer - Something I learned from photogs and journo. as they say in the trade.

After all, what do touts do ? They steer you to see and/or go their client's way. What do fixer's do ? He's the same guy, the client is now you ! He makes the others see things your way - or the safe way - or middle way.

But, I don't want to double my money, or buy biodisks, or go to a terma or stay in Aqua-Luna

If LP serves your purpose, then you have come to see what you want to see.
#28 Apr 8th, 2013, 18:31
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#28
In an abbreviated way it could be said, that two types of foreign tourists come to India: People who want to see the world, and spiritual seekers. Roughly this corresponds to the definition of extravert versus introvert. The fact that most people have a share in both qualities left aside!

Extravert: Extraversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self".

Introvert: Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life"**

The extravert is more the traveler-type who does not mind to expose him/herself to external stimuli of all kinds. The introvert seeks more seclusion, quiet, calm places, and accepts external stimuli as inevitable concomitants. There is then also a mixed type who seeks spiritual growth by traveling, in other words finds inner value from external hardship and adventure.

The typical traveler, however, needs to have a predominantly extravert attitude, i.e. will naturally be predominantly extravert, or the other way around: the many stimuli one is exposed to in India require a predominantly extravert quality. Q.e.d.

** quotes from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrave...d_introversion
#29 Apr 8th, 2013, 23:21
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#29
I think India is challenging for everyone. I have a mix of introverted and extroverted tendencies, and there were times each got flustered in India--the noise was a challenge when I just wanted to be alone, and the awkward silences were a challenge when I wanted to connect and talk with someone.

Perhaps my own take on this: you will probably find extroverted people outside of India who say enthusiastically, "I went to India and it was great! I loved every minute of it." And those people are so annoying. They make me think that either they found a package tour or ashram stay that allowed them to have a planned and sanitized experience, or they are completely lying. Because in India, if you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention. The only reason to go and go again is that you want to have those things challenged, you want to see the limits of your culture and self, you want to have your heart thoroughly broken.

As for touts, when I have the time, I let my guard down a little bit but still stick to my decisions. I might say, "You can take me to a silk shop, but I am not going to buy anything today. Just so that's clear." And perhaps another way to get them into personal conversation is to be a tiny bit generous. Offer to buy a cup of chai or a round of lassis. Just take the time. And if you do have a good talk with them, and then they try to steer the conversation back to the things they want you to buy, be a little forgiving of that. They've got a job to do, but will probably enjoy a quick break.
#30 Apr 8th, 2013, 23:53
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#30
How to deal with touts? Lesson learned, engage them, talk to them and tell them that they are wasting their time with you. Or better yet, buy their services to turn it around in your favor. Touts know where good deals can be found.

Full confession, I had many bad experiences with touts. The worst, at Kali Temple at Kolkata with so called holy men. This is an excellent thread for me. I plan to use what I learned here.

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