Monday, April 11, 2005

Troubling the Tourists

I was not planning to make a blog this week because i am just overwhelmed with the amount of work that saps everybit of energy left. This blog is more as a mark of protest, to the kind of treatment that a few friends of mine from the US received during our trip to Mahabalipuram.

The minute, we got out of the car - they descended on us like vultures spotting fresh carcass. Constant harrasment, bargaining, thrusting gift items into the hands of these people and even invocing the recent Tsunami for those few rupees that they stand to gain. Whats more irksome is that they start foul mouthing anyone trying to come to the rescue of the visitors. They really have incorporated the doctrine - By Hook or Crook and are so shameless that a few rupees and they would not mind doing anything for it.

In the end, they nearly ended up picking a fight with me & the only thing that prevented me from responding to them - is the maturity & educational level difference. What upsets me the most - is not the treatment that i received, but the treatment that the visitors received.

Would you ever go to a holiday destination where you are surrounded by people trying to pressurize you to buy their products? Would you be ready to interact with hawkers who would take NO for an answer? Would you feel comfortable and relaxed when there are a dozen people who surround you and force you to buy gifts?

Of one thing, i am sure - If this was to happen in the US - one would cuss the people and the entire setup for having put you with this difficulty; but in India, a lot of people feel that the visitors should endure the beggers and the hawkers as that's part of 'our culture'?

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