NY Times on handicraft shop touts

#1 Jan 25th, 2016, 17:19
Join Date:
Jan 2004
  • NonIndianResident is offline
Here's the New York Times on a tout frankly asking a supposed tourist to visit a handicraft showroom so that the driver will get a kilo of rice:


A bit later, as I trained my camera on a 19th-century mausoleum, I heard someone say, ‘‘Chikan Palace, Chikan Palace.’’ I turned around and saw a couple of more rickshaw pullers. I knew exactly what they meant. Chikan Palace is a generic name for a showroom that sells hand-embroidered clothes. People from all over the world come to Lucknow, and I was being taken for one who might be interested in buying some clothes as souvenirs. I smiled at them and said, ‘‘Main yahin ka hun’’ (‘‘I’m from here’’).

One rickshaw puller smiled, but he didn’t back off. ‘‘You look like a tourist,’’ he said. ‘‘You can help me get a kilo of rice.’’

I got curious.

‘‘A kilo of rice?’’ I asked.

‘‘Yes,’’ he said. ‘‘All you have to do is come with me and go inside the clothes showroom I take you to.’’

I looked at him.

‘‘They give us a kilo of rice if we take a customer to their shop.’’

‘‘What if I don’t want to buy anything?’’

‘‘That doesn’t matter. I will still get my rice.’’ He looked at me longingly.

#2 Jan 25th, 2016, 17:46
Learning... from others' experiences!
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Sep 2011
  • Prakaant is offline
Every city/tourist place has such touts. An intelligent tourist requires common sense to avoid them.
#3 Jan 27th, 2016, 17:59
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Jan 2004
  • NonIndianResident is offline
Of course. I was just trying to educate a few tourists if possible with this link.
#4 Jan 27th, 2016, 22:04
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Aug 2009
North Carolina, USA
  • sam78a is offline
I thought the peice was an interesting read.
#5 Jan 27th, 2016, 22:41
Join Date:
Aug 2006
  • nycank is offline

The new sodawaterbatliwala

Originally Posted by sam78a View Post I thought the peice was an interesting read.

Once upon a time, there were two rickshawalas. One called 99percent rickshawala and other called Bhooka Googlewala. Mr Googlewala was very good at spotting newcomers to the browser-station. He always enticed you with stores that paid Mr Googlewala to bring these customers. The rickshawala was so efficient and smart, it soon had tied up many shopkeepers, and Mr googlewala just did not restrict himself to station alone, he went to Browser-highways and apps-lanes too.

So the story goes....googlewala became a respected businessman that even the browser-highway patrol feared. Mr. Googlewala paid other browser-stations, to call him when they got a new customer. Mr. Googlewala paid small cut to other browser-stations.

Soon, every newcomer sought the googlewala rickshaw man. And they all lived happily after. However poor rickshawalla with his 2lb rice became a pariah because Mr Googlewala had taken over the phones of all newcomers and now tracked her from the moment she bought a ticket
Last edited by nycank; Jan 28th, 2016 at 06:36..

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