Turning a Tout into a Guide

#1 Nov 11th, 2008, 06:19
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  • GoWithTheFlow is offline
#1
Hi there,

As a newbie this is one of the few forums in which I can post (why can't I post in the 'India for Beginners forum' ?

Does anyone has any experience in turning a tout into a guide ? I was thinking .. if somebody asks you to come to visit his uncle's shop, how about offering him $X to guide you around the city ?

I'll gladly pay $10 for a nice Delhi tour.

GoWithTheFlow
#2 Nov 11th, 2008, 06:37
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  • vandy is offline
#2
Sure, Go ahead,

There's a good chance he has a few hundred uncles
who would love to sell you something.




Rgds

vandy
#3 Nov 11th, 2008, 07:40
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  • mayajaya is offline
#3
I know a fellow who did this. He met a nice rickshaw driver who started in on his "come to this shop" routine
so the tourist suggested to the rickshaw guy that they do a Delhi tour, hit all his referral shops (5-10 minutes in each one only) and it was great! They spent the whole day running around and instead of paying the rickshaw driver for the ride, the shops "paid" him way over that same amount in referral fees

It can happen...
#4 Nov 11th, 2008, 09:16
Just a big girl with a small dream
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#4
Hi Gowith and welcome to IndiaMike. Just to let you know that it's nothing to do with you being a newbie- the India for Beginners bit is closed to new posts from anybody.

Touts get considerable kickbacks from touting- if you can match that I don't see why you should not use one as a guide. But the people they are touting for won't be too happy!
Mosquitos suck.
#5 Nov 11th, 2008, 09:22
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#5
Does a tout change their colors? from what is see does he really want to take you on a tour of the city or only show you stuff where he can make a fast buck (his fav shops to shop etc)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare dream of meeting your heart's longing.
#6 Nov 11th, 2008, 10:26
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#6
There's also the fact that they don't necessarily make good guides anyway, even if they don't just lead you on a merry dance. What the hell do they know about the city's attractions?
#7 Nov 11th, 2008, 10:57
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#7
always a chance of that happening really , logical..

Quote:
Originally Posted by navinkurian2002 View Post Does a tout change their colors? from what is see does he really want to take you on a tour of the city or only show you stuff where he can make a fast buck (his fav shops to shop etc)
#8 Nov 12th, 2008, 05:31
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#8
@Karuna: Thanks for explaining why I can't post there.

I once read in a guide (don't remember which one) that one of the best ways to avoid the hordes of touts is to hook up with one

Good point about a tout being (not) a good guide. I might be able to tell you were you can get a decent cup of coffee in my hometown, but if you ask me, 'what's interesting to see here', I really don't know. (Ok, maybe that's a bad example because there really is nothing of interest to see in my hometown, but you get my point )

@mayajaya
Lol. However, I'm not sure I want to trade time for money.

Maybe I'll just draft an old guy, sitting on a bench minding his own business I'd love to hear somebody tell me how they felt when they saw the Indian flag being raised for the first time.


Thanks for the responses guys/gals !

GoWithTheFlow
#9 Nov 12th, 2008, 05:43
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  • Shiver me Timbers is offline
#9
Quote:
I once read in a guide (don't remember which one) that one of the best ways to avoid the hordes of touts is to hook up with one
I'm guessing this will be your first trip to India. Really, the 'hordes of touts' described by the guide books are not that bad - it's not something to worry about to the extent that you need to hire someone just to keep them away.

Touts are part of the India travel experience, the place wouldn't be the same without them. No need to prepare for them, they'll get you at some point, but that's part of it, and you'll learn something each time it happens.

Quote:
Maybe I'll just draft an old guy, sitting on a bench minding his own business I'd love to hear somebody tell me how they felt when they saw the Indian flag being raised for the first time.
You'll love the trains - the most interesting conversations I had with the older generation was always in Sleepr Class on the trains.

Have a great trip!
#10 Nov 12th, 2008, 05:48
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  • PeakXV is offline
#10
If you've got lots of money & patience - go ahead give it a try and be prepared to 'make their day'. But as nav wonders out loud in post #5, - you're really asking alot to expect these 'urban tigers' to change their stripes on your behalf.
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
#11 Nov 12th, 2008, 06:11
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post I'm guessing this will be your first trip to India
You got me, what gave it away ?

The 'the hordes of touts' comment didn't relate to India. I just used it to make a point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post Touts are part of the India travel experience, the place wouldn't be the same without them. No need to prepare for them, they'll get you t some point, but that's part of it, and you'll learn something each time it happens.
Excellent point ! Maybe I'm over preparing this trip. For my previous trips preparing meant getting a visa, vaccinations if needed, making sure my passport was still valid and getting a one-way ticket. Now I find myself studying the language, visiting forums like this one and reading the guides _before_ I leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post You'll love the trains - the most interesting conversations I had with the older generation was always in Sleepr Class on the trains.

Have a great trip!
I'm definitely going to ride the trains, and yes, I'm going to have a great trip ! Thanx.



GoWithTheFlow
#12 Nov 17th, 2008, 08:01
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  • Kanehanahou is offline
#12
I came up with a variation on the OP theme early on my first trip. I was staying at the Taj in Colaba (hush, it was my first trip )and wanted to have a smoke on the sea wall after dinner.

A young girl was the first to approach to sell flower bracelets and I made her a generous deal.

If she would sit with me and send the other touts away, I'd give her Rs50 for each one. We talked for a couple of hours, I learned her version of the flower business, and she made a nice handful of rupees, though she may have made a few touts particularly disappointed.

It worked wonderfully for me, though your mileage may vary.
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