My Personal India Scam Tale

#16 Jun 11th, 2011, 12:18
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
KERALA
Posts:
2,368
  • JOHNLORD is online now
#16
Quote:
Originally Posted by elad403 View Post It may not be a million dollar scam leaving me broke and helpless, but it was a real emotional blow for a first timer anyway.
Quite long, but hope you'll bear with me and like it in the end

Nice story, I do feel sorry for you, as you were not trying to get a bargain or anything when you were cheated, you were just being yourself.

I sometimes wish I was more trusting. Don't feel too bad , there are some nice people in India too.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#17 Jun 18th, 2011, 02:27
Join Date:
Jun 2008
Location:
New York, New York
Posts:
758
  • NYTim is offline
#17
My tuk tuk driver in Delhi, Mr. Singh, kept insisting that he could get me little girls for very cheap. He was so persistent and annoying. I stopped him by saying "I prefer little boys." The look on his face was priceless and he shut up about procuring flesh for me.
#18 Jun 18th, 2011, 18:00
Join Date:
Jul 2004
Location:
...
Posts:
3,636
  • Shiver me Timbers is offline
#18
Great post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Elad, I think you were treated to a great show (I can just see that guy and his "Whole month?") --- and it was worth every rupee you paid for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elad403 I really like this point of view. It was a great show indeed and it lasted my whole trip.
It's definitely the best way to look at it. A very similar thing happened to me on arrival in Tangier port 8 years ago. Ended up spending a ridiculous amount of money on our 'guide' - who could quite easily have made off with our bags, passports, etc at any moment if he had so wanted - as well as a massive Moroccan rug which I spent the next month carrying around Europe in my backpack.

But even now, I look back on that day spent in Tangier as probably the best day of traveling I've had, worth every dinar. In a way, I've been looking to reproduce that moment ever since.
#19 Jun 19th, 2011, 07:18
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
Abode of Glooscap
Posts:
10,517
  • PeakXV is offline
#19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post Great post.



as well as a massive Moroccan rug which I spent the next month carrying around Europe in my backpack.

But even now, I look back on that day spent in Tangier as probably the best day of traveling I've had, worth every dinar. In a way, I've been looking to reproduce that moment ever since.


I had a similar experience about a rug that turned out to be an experience that would prove hard to duplicate.

… it was the last day of my second visit & I had some time to kill before leaving for the airport. So, I went down to Janpath to take in the sights & sounds. A Kashmiri tout approached me. He looked vaguely familiar. He said that so many times he had asked me to come & see his emporium & that I always had told him - 'tomorrow, tomorrow'. These street kids have memories like elephants, I remembering thinking.

What the hell!, since on this particular day, there was 'no, tomorrow' - I decided to follow him through the streets & alleys & up the back stairs of a three story building to 'his' showroom.

It was a small room, immaculately clean, a comfy couch & very good lighting. As any of you who’ve ever been in a Kashmiri emporiums can imagine, within minutes of arriving there was a flurry of activity & suddenly a whole team of employees seemed to materilize from behind, between & quite possibly from under these giant piles of weavings.

There were carpet pullers, carpet unrollers, carpet stackers, carpet holders, carpet jugglers, an aggressively persistent head salesman, & most importantly someone from behind a partition who knew how to make kahwa chai very well. The best boy scouts & armies of the world had nothing on these merchants as far as the art of assembly was concerned.

The smell was an amalgamation of wool, silk, tobacco leaves, moth balls all mixed in with the aroma of somebody’s dinner cooking from a not too distant inhouse kitchen stove. Like most odors of India, it was pleasing, unusual, memorable & not anything that the most gifted olfactory scientist could ever possibly imagine, reproduce or create.

The carpets came two by two in all colours & designs. In fact before I could swallow my first swig of Kahwa, at least 50 silk carpets had been presented before me and had already been sorted into piles according to my 'perceived' acceptance of them.

‘So which ones are you going to take with you?’ said the Salesman. ‘Onessss’, I said. “As in plural more than one’?

'First of all, these are all silk rugs …. & I am not interested in silk pieces at all’. I’m interested in something older, more tribal & with a wool pile’.

This request prompted an instant employee huddle, a meeting of the minds as it were. Five minutes later a whole different genre of rugs started to appear before me. These were smaller, wool piled, & for the most part had a very tribal feel to them.

‘Antiques?’, I said. ‘Very Antiques’, Sir!! All from the finest Persian towns’. <Well, he might have believed that they were Persian but they looked quite new & either of Afghan or Pakistan provenance to my eye>

You see, Kashmiri rug dealers are some of the most kindest, hospitable, smoothing talking manipulators of truth & fact that the world has even known.

‘More Kahwa’ , I gurgled! ‘and take these ‘Persian’ dogs away.’

<slurp> ‘Your Kahwa is improving but the rugs you are showing me are not. Don’t you have some special pieces tucked away for your preferred customers (& chai freeloaders)?’, I queried. More meeting of the minds. 'Specialty piece coming, just five minutes wait only Sir.'

<30 minutes & three cups of kahwa later> “I really need to use your toilet & what exactly I am waiting for?”

“Sir the boy is just coming with a rug I know you will like.”

<10 minutes later> 'Sir, another cup of Kashmiri Chai?'

'No, the sun has set & I’m starting to get worried about the time, please organize me a taxi @ your backdoor.'

‘Fine Sir’.

Finally a boy arrives with a rug slung over his shoulder. He’s perspiring heavily & looks like he’s just galloped nonstop all the way down from Srinagar. The weaving is unrolled in front of me. It is a striking piece that is hard to look away from.

‘How much?’, I inquire.

‘For such a fine customer (& chai snarfer), I can let you have it for $2000.00 only.’

‘ Ha, Where’s my fricking taxi, anyone?’

‘Just coming, sir’.

‘So Sir – shall I wrap if for you? Mastercard, Visa, American Express?”

<Beep Beep> ‘Taxi here sir!’

‘Look it’s nice … but not that nice. Besides parts of the fringes are missing & it has moth damage within the main field. I can give you $200.00 tops for it!’

<massive outburst of collective laughter from the staff>

‘Insha Allāh’, the salesman chortles.

‘Thanks for the tea’, I say running down the stairs.

Okay Sir, ‘$300.00’

‘I’ll do $250.00’

“Fine Sir, you have a deal!



Aftermath: On the way home to Canada, the bag in which it was packed would get lost in the transfer at LAX. Just when I thought I had lost if for good, it is located & shipped to me in Canada. When I bring it to a carpet expert & historian in Toronto - his mouth falls open wide, tells me he will repair it for free if he can study it for a few months. He repairs it but is very reluctant to give it back to me. He makes several offers for it in amounts that are much greater than what I paid for it. I decline. Finally I wrestle it back from him. He appraises it as an 18th century Kashmiri court rug. I’m giddy, astounded, over the moon about my natual textile snooping skills.

.... in the years to come I’ve learned that is not possibly that old or even from Kashmir. Aside from that, the general consensus from carpet experts is that is most likely from either Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan or British India & probably from between 50 & 100 years old. Still an enigma after 15 years. Still a quest to find it's true origins.

So the moral of the story is to not always say ‘no’ to that tout who wants to lead you down a path, around the block & up the stairs … because there just might be an adventure waiting for you somewhere in that process.
Attached Images
ruggie1.jpg 
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
#20 Jun 19th, 2011, 09:02
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
United States
Posts:
4,434
  • DaisyL is offline
#20
Peak, amazing story and beautiful rug!
#21 Jun 19th, 2011, 14:10
Join Date:
May 2011
Location:
israel
Posts:
31
  • elad403 is offline
#21
peak, you really took me there, visually.
Great story!
#22 Jun 20th, 2011, 21:35
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
Abode of Glooscap
Posts:
10,517
  • PeakXV is offline
#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post Peak, amazing story and beautiful rug!
Quote:
Originally Posted by elad403 View Post peak, you really took me there, visually.
Great story!


Thanks Folks!

It's always seems to be those spur-of-the-moment sidetrips/encounters that seem to stand out in the mind the most.
#23 Jun 20th, 2011, 21:46
Join Date:
Feb 2011
Location:
London
Posts:
1,576
  • NomadicBoo is offline
#23
I got scammed in Jaipur. A local took me and my girlfriend to a bar, ordered everything under the sun and then when the bill came just looked the other way.

The annoying thing was I would have happily paid the bill if he had even made the slightest attempt to offer his share. It was just annoying that he assumed we would pay the bill because we are 'rich'.

This came after he had sold me a silver ring I didn't want. He must have seen the idiot sign on my forehead .

NB
#24 Aug 23rd, 2011, 00:56
Join Date:
Jul 2011
Location:
Malaysia
Posts:
6
  • schwoyxer is offline
#24
I got scammed countless times in India.

The most horrible part is that there is a worker in Delhi Railway Station, we approached him because we weren't sure how the whole train thing works. And so he told us our train has been delayed for 9 hours due to train accident and he asked us to hop in a auto rickshaw and went to the Information Bureau to ask more about the details. The strange part is that he kept trying to get us into the auto rickshaw when my friend insisted to know the direction of the place we are going. He sensed that we're doubting him and he tried to reassure us by saying that he is a worker blah blah. We decided to just ignore him and we found the Bureau just in the station and our train is on schedule and about to leave in 10 mins.

How could he?
#25 Aug 23rd, 2011, 01:05
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
Abode of Glooscap
Posts:
10,517
  • PeakXV is offline
#25
Quote:
Originally Posted by schwoyxer View Post
How could he?
It's just a board game to them .... & you're the game peg. Here's a thread with the same scam/scammers:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/scams...etter-t141431/
#26 Aug 23rd, 2011, 01:31
Join Date:
Oct 2007
Location:
Canada
Posts:
35
  • pandora is offline
#26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post I had a similar experience about a rug that turned out to be an experience that would prove hard to duplicate.

… it was the last day of my second visit & I had some time to kill before leaving for the airport. So, I went down to Janpath to take in the sights & sounds. A Kashmiri tout approached me. He looked vaguely familiar. He said that so many times he had asked me to come & see his emporium & that I always had told him - 'tomorrow, tomorrow'. These street kids have memories like elephants, I remembering thinking.

What the hell!, since on this particular day, there was 'no, tomorrow' - I decided to follow him through the streets & alleys & up the back stairs of a three story building to 'his' showroom.

It was a small room, immaculately clean, a comfy couch & very good lighting. As any of you who’ve ever been in a Kashmiri emporiums can imagine, within minutes of arriving there was a flurry of activity & suddenly a whole team of employees seemed to materilize from behind, between & quite possibly from under these giant piles of weavings.

There were carpet pullers, carpet unrollers, carpet stackers, carpet holders, carpet jugglers, an aggressively persistent head salesman, & most importantly someone from behind a partition who knew how to make kahwa chai very well. The best boy scouts & armies of the world had nothing on these merchants as far as the art of assembly was concerned.

The smell was an amalgamation of wool, silk, tobacco leaves, moth balls all mixed in with the aroma of somebody’s dinner cooking from a not too distant inhouse kitchen stove. Like most odors of India, it was pleasing, unusual, memorable & not anything that the most gifted olfactory scientist could ever possibly imagine, reproduce or create.

The carpets came two by two in all colours & designs. In fact before I could swallow my first swig of Kahwa, at least 50 silk carpets had been presented before me and had already been sorted into piles according to my 'perceived' acceptance of them.

‘So which ones are you going to take with you?’ said the Salesman. ‘Onessss’, I said. “As in plural more than one’?

'First of all, these are all silk rugs …. & I am not interested in silk pieces at all’. I’m interested in something older, more tribal & with a wool pile’.

This request prompted an instant employee huddle, a meeting of the minds as it were. Five minutes later a whole different genre of rugs started to appear before me. These were smaller, wool piled, & for the most part had a very tribal feel to them.

‘Antiques?’, I said. ‘Very Antiques’, Sir!! All from the finest Persian towns’. <Well, he might have believed that they were Persian but they looked quite new & either of Afghan or Pakistan provenance to my eye>

You see, Kashmiri rug dealers are some of the most kindest, hospitable, smoothing talking manipulators of truth & fact that the world has even known.

‘More Kahwa’ , I gurgled! ‘and take these ‘Persian’ dogs away.’

<slurp> ‘Your Kahwa is improving but the rugs you are showing me are not. Don’t you have some special pieces tucked away for your preferred customers (& chai freeloaders)?’, I queried. More meeting of the minds. 'Specialty piece coming, just five minutes wait only Sir.'

<30 minutes & three cups of kahwa later> “I really need to use your toilet & what exactly I am waiting for?”

“Sir the boy is just coming with a rug I know you will like.”

<10 minutes later> 'Sir, another cup of Kashmiri Chai?'

'No, the sun has set & I’m starting to get worried about the time, please organize me a taxi @ your backdoor.'

‘Fine Sir’.

Finally a boy arrives with a rug slung over his shoulder. He’s perspiring heavily & looks like he’s just galloped nonstop all the way down from Srinagar. The weaving is unrolled in front of me. It is a striking piece that is hard to look away from.

‘How much?’, I inquire.

‘For such a fine customer (& chai snarfer), I can let you have it for $2000.00 only.’

‘ Ha, Where’s my fricking taxi, anyone?’

‘Just coming, sir’.

‘So Sir – shall I wrap if for you? Mastercard, Visa, American Express?”

<Beep Beep> ‘Taxi here sir!’

‘Look it’s nice … but not that nice. Besides parts of the fringes are missing & it has moth damage within the main field. I can give you $200.00 tops for it!’

<massive outburst of collective laughter from the staff>

‘Insha Allāh’, the salesman chortles.

‘Thanks for the tea’, I say running down the stairs.

Okay Sir, ‘$300.00’

‘I’ll do $250.00’

“Fine Sir, you have a deal!



Aftermath: On the way home to Canada, the bag in which it was packed would get lost in the transfer at LAX. Just when I thought I had lost if for good, it is located & shipped to me in Canada. When I bring it to a carpet expert & historian in Toronto - his mouth falls open wide, tells me he will repair it for free if he can study it for a few months. He repairs it but is very reluctant to give it back to me. He makes several offers for it in amounts that are much greater than what I paid for it. I decline. Finally I wrestle it back from him. He appraises it as an 18th century Kashmiri court rug. I’m giddy, astounded, over the moon about my natual textile snooping skills.

.... in the years to come I’ve learned that is not possibly that old or even from Kashmir. Aside from that, the general consensus from carpet experts is that is most likely from either Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan or British India & probably from between 50 & 100 years old. Still an enigma after 15 years. Still a quest to find it's true origins.

So the moral of the story is to not always say ‘no’ to that tout who wants to lead you down a path, around the block & up the stairs … because there just might be an adventure waiting for you somewhere in that process.
I loved your story. Whatever the rug is worth, whatever its provenance I would have bought it too. It is beautiful.
#27 Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:40
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
69,907
  • Nick-H is offline
#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by schwoyxer View Post I got scammed countless times in India.

The most horrible part is that there is a worker in Delhi Railway Station, we approached him because we weren't sure how the whole train thing works. And so he told us our train has been delayed for 9 hours due to train accident and he asked us to hop in a auto rickshaw and went to the Information Bureau to ask more about the details. The strange part is that he kept trying to get us into the auto rickshaw when my friend insisted to know the direction of the place we are going. He sensed that we're doubting him and he tried to reassure us by saying that he is a worker blah blah. We decided to just ignore him and we found the Bureau just in the station and our train is on schedule and about to leave in 10 mins.

How could he?
People hang around colleges and schools. They impersonate staff, or promise to obtain places that the children cannot get. They pocket the money and walk off.

That's evil. It may cost that child their education and future. Screwing up a foreigner's trip and making some money out of it at the same time is almost ethical by comparison!
#28 Aug 23rd, 2011, 05:00
Join Date:
Feb 2004
Location:
Paradise
Posts:
1,164
  • freemanx is offline
#28
Quote:
Originally Posted by schwoyxer View Post How could he?
As long as there are uninformed and/or naive people who fall for this scam he will keep trying.

Who knows what you would do if you were in his shoes btw.
#29 Aug 23rd, 2011, 06:15
Join Date:
Aug 2007
Location:
Chelsea Alabama USA
Posts:
1,286
  • Drews60 is offline
#29
Great story elad. Your friend was spot on about him needing these few rupees more than you. Plus you "bought" a great story you can tell over and over again. If I get caught up with a tout I hope it works out as well as it did for you.

Did I say "IF"??
#30 Aug 23rd, 2011, 06:35
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
15,458
  • edwardseco is offline
#30
Quote:
"I prefer little boys." The look on his face was priceless and he shut up
Just a hint, that won't work in Mumbai, its a weird world..

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Gem Scam Variant in Mumbai with Travelers' Checks and CST Tout Scam Feb 9th, 2013 13:23 4 5722 Scams and Annoyances in India
A Cautionary tale Mar 29th, 2008 19:21 3 1723 For Citizens of Other Countries - Visa and PIO/OCI Questions
a tale of a super cop ! Jul 28th, 2005 01:48 0 1442 Chai and Chat
An Indian Tale Aug 24th, 2002 09:19 0 2819 Chai and Chat


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success