Incredible India

Authored By Brian

Incredible India is an advertising slogan promoted by the government here and abroad. What a train wreck. This place is incredible in many ways but most of the adjectives that would follow would not be endearing.

Delhi’s version of Bangkok’s “no I don’t need a tuk-tuk…” t-shirt would require a magnifying glass and a six-point font to list all of the things you have to refuse here. Walking 500 feet of Main Bazaar near New Delhi train station, you can get anything from a hotel to a meal to a sari to a gem scam to a rickshaw. And if you turn down any of these or 300 other things you don’t want, the next offer is usually a whispered offer for hashish.

Ignoring the touts doesn’t usually seem to work either as they are obnoxiously persistent like a five-year old asking “why?” Similar to Egypt, eveyone calls you “friend” but rest assured that if they’re talking to your white ass that they would spell “friend” like A-T-M. Whether it be at first meet or after an innocent ten minute conversation, anyone on the street who approaches you will eventually, without fail, suggest that you visit a store (where they get ~100 rupees or $2.50 per person), a sight-seeing tour or some other crap where they make money.

My only genuine-feeling interaction was walking through the park when some locals asked me to play Cricket with them. Who knows how that scam works.

Bottom line: if they approach you, they want something from you.

I think I am going to start faking a Spanish accent and say I no speak-ah dah English-ah. My other test is going to be to wear ear buds for my ipod but I am pretty sure they will be rude and interrupt me. I’ll report back when my temperature comes back down.

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