Sorry I just registered too share my story as I don't know any other way to help others not to fall in this trap.
I totally bought that Alex had been to Edinburgh, near where I live, because when I told him I was from Scotland he said "Ah man, I've been to Edinburgh, I only remember one thing about there - Cowgate, ah man I was so drunk."
Would be funny to see pictures of Alex again.
Every Indian Jewelry merchant in Kathmandu is from Agra and has attempted this scam on me.
Every one, all of them?[shock] You must fit the bill for the stereotypical gem smuggler.;)
Most Indian ARE very hospitable people: That is a fact and I can attest to it. Too bad that there are some rotten apples.
BUT, here's a question: When we as travellers expect Indians to show their hospitality and invite us to their homes, aren't we essentially all set to take advantage of them. All I see in that experience is MY benefit: free stay, free food, complete indulgence and immersion in the Indian culture, etc. Do I question even once what I might be prepared to do for these humble, hospitable folks in return of their niceness? What: Maybe give them a few euros...as a "tip"? Give them my half used bottle of "cologne"?
Why, then, does it come as a surprise, when someone uses our greed against us?
Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather not take a favor that I'm not prepared to return! (Now, come on, if I saw an Indian traveller on my street, who I have never met before, would I be inviting him for a free board at my place?)
The reputation for westerners is that they are rich fools that give too much money.