Worst experience with other travelers?

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#16 Feb 24th, 2012, 05:19
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#16
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Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post What's the worst experience you've had in India with fellow travelers?

Mine went like this - I was taking the bus from Pokhara to the Nepal/India border at Sunauli, the bus was packed so I grabbed the opportunity to ride the roof for what I knew was to be a very scenic trip.

I was joined on top by 4 Australians (2 couples). We were getting on great for an hour or two, then one of them found his wallet was missing. It seemed obvious to me what must have happened - I guessed it fell out of his pocket as he was climbing up to the roof. However, they immediately all suspected me of stealing the wallet, and for the rest of the trip, completely ignored me, and made sure that I could hear them talking about me behind my back about how I must have robbed it. Horrible atmosphere altogether.

I legged it on them as soon as we got to the border, which probably only increased their suspicions, and made it across to Gorakhpur for the night train to Varanasi. The next morning in Varanasi station I bumped into them again, and here they confronted me about the wallet. I just smiled and walked away not wanting to let them ruin my day, but I was seething inside.

Very strange/unpleasant experience. I've shared dorms with horrible, smelly snorers, spent time with some of the most culturally insensitive/obnoxious people on the planet, but this experience really sticks out for me.

What about you guys?
Wow. That sounds terrible! I doubt I could have just walked away from such an accusation. What a weird thing for them to do!
#17 Feb 24th, 2012, 05:45
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#17
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post Wow. That sounds terrible! I doubt I could have just walked away from such an accusation. What a weird thing for them to do!
Ditto ChrisJ.

vandy
#18 Feb 24th, 2012, 07:25
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#18
What a great thread!

I fly into Mumbai on Monday for a 3 month stay throughout India and as a first time backpacker this thread is giving me some great "must do-not do's"!

Andy
#19 Feb 24th, 2012, 09:41
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#19
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post Wow. That sounds terrible! I doubt I could have just walked away from such an accusation. What a weird thing for them to do!
I was fuming at the time. Now though, looking back, I can kind of understand where they were coming from. They were all very close, young (I think 19-21) and I believe it was their first trip abroad together. They had probably read the Lonely Planet warning about how some travelers get by robbing others.

Anyway, just remembered another one. Crossing the river in Hampi on that little boat, the South African guy next to me - and about three times the size of me - decided I wasn't giving him enough room, and so started elbowing me in the ribs. When I objected, he threatened to throw me in the river (which he easily could have done) and called me an 'Irish c**t' - at that point, two guys sitting across from us looked up, turned out they were also Irish and didn't take kindly to his language. The big guy didn't say another word on the short trip across! So that one ended well enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanTragic A confessions thread could do well here I think.
Oh yeah, I'm half expecting to be reading about myself any post now...
#20 Feb 24th, 2012, 09:54
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#20
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Originally Posted by Shiver me Timbers View Post Anyway, just remembered another one. Crossing the river in Hampi on that little boat, the South African guy next to me - and about three times the size of me - decided I wasn't giving him enough room, and so started elbowing me in the ribs.
My worst experience of other tourists was on that same boat. See there was this Irish guy....

No, there was a woman who was absolutely incensed that the fare had gone up from Rs15 to Rs20 plus Rs5 for luggage since the last time she was there 3 years ago. She screamed non-stop at the 12-year-old kid who was collecting fares and pleaded with the rest of the passengers to only pay Rs10 to stop this sort of blatant exploitation of tourists. Lots of eyes rolled and she was promptly ignored. Her traveling companion looked like she was going to jump over the side and swim.
#21 Feb 24th, 2012, 13:14
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#21
Confessions? I'm sure I've upset or embarassed a few by my technique (be it in a British Bank or an Indian restaurant) of reacting to zero service: shout!

Yeah... I know... loud arrogant Brit and all...
#22 Feb 24th, 2012, 14:12
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#22
Yes, I would definitely love a confession thread. My lowest point so far was 'forcing' a taxi driver to give me a free ride from New Delhi station to Paharganj. He first tried to tell me that there was a political demonstration in Paharganj so he had to take me to Connaught Place instead. I tried to stay calm and just told him to drive to Paharganj. When we got there and I tried to pay, he told me he had no change. At that point I lost it and screamed at him, calling him a liar etc. He drove off without a word and without taking any money from me! I still feel slightly guilty about it...

The worst experience with fellow travellers that I know about did not happen to me but to a guy I got to know in Varanasi. He travelled to India as a young backpacker about 30 years ago. A man who was from the same European country as him befriended him and they ended up sharing a room. He went down to the corner shop to get some cigarettes, and by the time he returned, his new 'friend' disappeared with all his money, valuables and passport. He spent days on general class trains to travel to his embassy in Delhi, where they refused to deal with his case because he had no documents to prove his nationality and no money for a replacement passport. An Indian family took him in, and he ended up staying in India and starting a family and business there. So, ultimately, this worst experience turned out to be the best experience for him - when I met him, he was living in Varanasi very happily with his family and did not want to live anywhere else any more.
#23 Feb 24th, 2012, 16:27
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#23

Exclamation

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Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post
The worst experience with fellow travellers that I know about did not happen to me but to a guy I got to know in Varanasi. He travelled to India as a young backpacker about 30 years ago. A man who was from the same European country as him befriended him and they ended up sharing a room. He went down to the corner shop to get some cigarettes, and by the time he returned, his new 'friend' disappeared with all his money, valuables and passport. He spent days on general class trains to travel to his embassy in Delhi, where they refused to deal with his case because he had no documents to prove his nationality and no money for a replacement passport. An Indian family took him in, and he ended up staying in India and starting a family and business there. So, ultimately, this worst experience turned out to be the best experience for him - when I met him, he was living in Varanasi very happily with his family and did not want to live anywhere else any more.
Mirjam, this is an utterly amazing story...this should be a whole new thread, of incredible, unbeleiveable (but true) stories like this. I can only imagine what it was like at the time, perfectly horrible, but what an adjustment he made and how wonderful that he was "adopted" by an Indian family. A lot of people may be wishing it would have happened to them by now.

Good idea too about another whole thread on "true confessions"!
#24 Feb 24th, 2012, 16:41
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#24
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Originally Posted by Hal View Post My worst experience of other tourists was on that same boat. See there was this Irish guy....

No, there was a woman who was absolutely incensed that the fare had gone up from Rs15 to Rs20 plus Rs5 for luggage since the last time she was there 3 years ago. She screamed non-stop at the 12-year-old kid who was collecting fares and pleaded with the rest of the passengers to only pay Rs10 to stop this sort of blatant exploitation of tourists. Lots of eyes rolled and she was promptly ignored. Her traveling companion looked like she was going to jump over the side and swim.
Yeesh - I've seen people arguing over two rupees when buying samosas. Get a life!
#25 Feb 24th, 2012, 21:32
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#25
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Originally Posted by unclelach View Post My lot are still doing our bit to be remembered abroad. See also Paul Theroux, "The Great Railway Bazaar", 1975.

"He put me in second class with three Australians. It was a situation I grew to recognize over the next three months. At my lowest point, when things were at their most desperate and uncomfortable, I always found myself in the company of Australians, who were like a reminder that I'd touched bottom."
Theroux really had it in for the Aussies (before he fell out with Sir Vidya*). Later he says he couldn't get any sleep because a group of Australians were celebrating a corroborree in the next compartment and then on his return journey on the Trans-Siberian he has this Aussie exclaim: "Gee, they don't look like Abos!" when told that the Goldi were the aboriginal population of Eastern Siberia.

*I heard they've made up again.
#26 Feb 24th, 2012, 21:49
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#26
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post Yeesh - I've seen people arguing over two rupees when buying samosas. Get a life!
I absolutely love doing this. Just for a bit of fun of course. Put your best game face on, start implementing all the Indian mannerisms, hand gestures, in Hindi preferably, eye rolls, head angles. The vendors will really dig their heels in too ....... & then there eventually comes a point in the negotiations when both of us just break down & start laughing ... because it's obvious that the intensity does not match the insignificance of that 'one tiny rupee' in question. It's the best of India. I've even had the vendor try to give me the item for free because he enjoyed the mock battle so much.
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. ~
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#27 Oct 14th, 2013, 23:38
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#27
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post Yeesh - I've seen people arguing over two rupees when buying samosas. Get a life!
I've argued over two rupees. Because the tea seller asked me for double what everyone else had just paid. I may not have been local but I could still count to ten in Hindi.

Is this excusable in these circumstances?
#28 Oct 15th, 2013, 02:53
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#28
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Originally Posted by harvestmouse View Post I've argued over two rupees. Because the tea seller asked me for double what everyone else had just paid. I may not have been local but I could still count to ten in Hindi.

Is this excusable in these circumstances?
Looking at the state of the economy, no, not at all!
#29 Oct 15th, 2013, 08:45
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#29
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Confessions? I'm sure I've upset or embarassed a few by my technique (be it in a British Bank or an Indian restaurant) of reacting to zero service: shout!

Yeah... I know... loud arrogant Brit and all...
If you mean "shout" in the Australian sense, this is indeed an admirable trait
#30 Oct 15th, 2013, 08:56
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#30
The scene was a boat on the backwaters from Quilon to Aleppey.
The travellers were three freshly-arrived chavs wearing naught but sarongs and Doc Martens. Their skins re-defined "white". Or perhaps "white with pimples".
They sprawled in the sun on the roof deck from about 9:00am to dusk - thirsty work.
By dusk, white had turned to beetroot. Who would have thought it?
As they inched down the gangplank, a nimble local nipped past them, hurrying for the bus.

The lads responded very loudly:

Chav A: "[many expletives deleted]"
Chav B: "Watchit mate!! Oodjafinkya are?"
Chav C: "F***in Indians! They fink they own the place!"

Well, um, yes .........
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