AT In recent years, Russians have been increasingly visiting India, a country that was once mysterious to many of us. The vast majority of citizens of the former USSR are familiar with this distant exotic country from recognizable films with numerous dances and songs. Brave simple guys, vile but rich rajahs, their unprincipled villainous assistants, gold, love and dancing - such was India for us. But what is actually happening in this almost the most populous country in the world. How do millions of ordinary non-cinema citizens of India treat Russian and foreign tourists in real life?
White means rich and therefore...
It may seem strange to some that the vast majority of the millions of people in India do not care who you are by nationality: Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian or a resident of advanced Norway. Therefore, it would be logical to talk about the attitude of Indians, here Hindus and Sikhs, not only towards Russians, but towards foreigners in general, more precisely towards white-skinned foreigners.
It is not unfortunate, but it is not at all uncommon that the seemingly benevolent attitude of local residents hides banal selfish motives. And this fact will be confirmed to you by any traveler who has experience of visiting non-tourist places in the country and, first of all, Delhi.
The point is that the white man India is a synonym for a rich person. And a rich person with an indefinite, non-caste affiliation should help honest workers (and not very honest, too).
Seeing you, many people have a reflex to talk to you, and then, just look, as a result of such communication, it will turn out to have some money.
How "honest" workers try to get money from you
The topic of fraud in India against foreign tourists is quite extensive and undoubtedly requires separate coverage. But still, I will simply outline the two main types of voluntary withdrawal of excess banknotes from Russians and other "white" foreigners.
By the way, to be honest, nothing fundamentally new in terms of the expropriation of these very signs was invented here. Some of this can be found in other distant corners of the planet.
Begging in various forms
The first and dumbest way to get money from you is begging. You will encounter this often in India. I categorically do not advise you to give alms to the beggars who are chasing you, because if you give to one, ten more will immediately fly up. Then you can easily find yourself in a very unpleasant situation, and you may encounter aggressive begging.
Several times I came across extremely obsessive beggars who simply wear you out. They come and go after you and repeat their mantra about money, or they poke some beads of their own and offer to buy them a hundred times. So you will be glad to give yourself or buy something, if only they get off, but if you give it to one, then you may still have to run away.
Another type of begging is common all over the world. sorry options: cripples, single children, mothers with children, or a combination of all this in various proportions. Be prepared for the most unusual deformities and the most pitiful eyes. Can you bear it?
Impressionable I recommend not to consider the photo, but to continue reading ...
I want to note that not the most “attractive” photos are posted here. Some of them would be overkill even for my storytelling format.
Fraud: global and local variations
The second way to get money out of you is fraud. At the same time, roughly speaking, there are sophisticated divorces, but there are flat and arrogant ones. You will encounter the latter view at every turn.
For most Indians, not trying to deceive a white tourist is almost a mortal sin. I am not exaggerating, it was precisely this thought that constantly visited me in India.
Services will be offered give you a ride somewhere very, very cheap, show where the object you need and don't need is located, for example, a cheap hotel or a store with “very good prices”.
Moreover, almost always when you ask if a person knows where something is, he will say yes, of course, he knows, even if in fact he does not know it. He needs to cling to you at any cost, and then, look, he will gain something, pull money out of you. In the worst case, he will “hand over” you to another “kind person”, saying that he knows, show and tell.
Very revealing in this regard. story about buying tickets at delhi railway station. The search for an international travel agency allowed me to come to grips with the scheme of work of "ticket" scammers.
Unfortunately the truth is: in nine out of ten cases, they will try to deceive you. And believe me, this is not some kind of deliberate exaggeration. If someone had a different experience, then he was just lucky.
How sincere are Indians towards foreigners?
One should not think that the Indians are vile pretenders. One thing I can say for sure: they sincerely, with all their hearts, they want to breed you for money.
It is true that foreign whites are outwardly very open, friendly, very curious and always willing to help you. Help, even when no one asks for it. Here I involuntarily recall the "kind people" from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Those who offer to show you the temple of the standing Buddha, open for visits once a year, on the day of your arrival in Bangkok, completely disinterestedly. But let's not digress...
At first, such a desire to help you and an increased interest in your person as a whole is flattering and does not arouse suspicion. I will say more: people from the countries of the former USSR want to believe that people who turn to them and ask how to help them do it from the bottom of their hearts and free of charge. In India, forget about this vestige of the Soviet past. After all, very soon everything becomes obvious and sad.
In 90% cases, you will be asked to pay for the service: for taking you somewhere, telling you something indistinctly, showing you from which side it is better to photograph a sight, or, for example, explaining where the ticket office is.
Of course, there are exceptions when Indians selflessly help, but these are rather isolated cases and more on that at the end of the article.
How Indian youth treat foreigners
It seemed to me that young people in Delhi treat Russians and other foreigners as fearful brakeswho, in principle, can be disregarded and who do not understand elementary things. By youth, I mean people in the 12 to 22 age range.
Do not judge me harshly, but I made such a bold conclusion after a number of cases that happened to me in Delhi, and later in southern India, but under different circumstances. Let me briefly describe these cases.
1. Buying tokens in the subway
For a week, almost daily, I stood in a long queue for a token in the Delhi metro. When it was finally my turn, a young man would appear out of nowhere right in front of my nose and try to buy a token without waiting in line.
The first time I didn't understand what was going on. The second time I already understood, but did not have time to do something. Well, all subsequent cases ended with the fact that I simply pushed the crazed young Indians away by force.
2. Delhi city bus ride
There have also been incidents on a bus in Delhi on several occasions. Young Indians of 14 years old, looking at me with interest and wondering from the bottom of their hearts what the white monkey was doing on the bus, strongly advised me to move away from the doors, as they (it turns out!) open and can hurt me.
3. Acquaintance with schoolchildren of Varkala
Near Varkala, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, I once stumbled across a group of teenagers in neat school uniforms. There was no one around, and when they saw me, they came up and started with the standard phrases: "hello" and "how are you."
One of them, with a serious interested face, began to ask where I was from, what I was doing here, and so on. And then I talked to him for about 3 minutes. His questions, tone and interest seemed to be sincere and I already felt friendly sympathy for him ... But everything was revealed in 2 seconds when I heard a familiar question:
... “Listen friend, can I call you my friend now? Can you lend me a couple of hundred rupees?”…
On this, our kind friendly conversation instantly came to its logical conclusion. And what is characteristic, as one of my friends says, knowing quite a lot about the tricks and pretense of such "respectable" citizens, I almost got caught and believed in the disinterestedness of the boy ...
Is everything so bad and are there "rays of light"
I do not want to create a negative attitude towards the country as a whole. This is just one of the nuances that every traveler who visits this beautiful and extremely interesting country with a long history will undoubtedly have to face.
And now about the good and the good. I remember one typical evening at around 6:30 pm, just after rush hour, I boarded the Delhi metro at Chandni chowk station. There were so many people at the station that I could not get into the car even on the second attempt.
A man about 50 years old, normally dressed, wearing glasses, approached me and said that it was useless to try to get on the subway now. He asked where I need to go. I replied that I needed to go north of Delhi to the Tibetan region of Mazhnukatila.
After listening to me, he offered to go to the place with him a few bus stops and take the subway at another, less busy station. I agreed and went with him on the bus. He turned out to be an employee of some ministry.
After a few stops, I got off and he wished me luck. I again went to the subway and eventually drove to the station I needed. Everything is fair. These cases are quite rare and pleasant exceptions.
Brief summary with personal opinion
Despite such isolated exceptions, my modest conclusion is as simple as a shovel. Whether they are Hindus or Sikhs (Indians in turbans), both of them want money from us, white tourists, first of all. Therefore, do not build illusions about their hospitality and selflessness, and you will save a lot of nerves, time and money.
Yes, one more thing... It seems to me that they should not be unduly condemned for their crafty body movements in relation to foreign tourists. After all, their prosperity in most cases can hardly be compared with ours. However, they also cannot let go of divorces.
Well, in order not to end the story on such a slightly sad note, look at some clean and, in my humble opinion, sincere faces of the inhabitants of the great ancient India. All the same, they inspire optimism and faith in a brighter future!