More India!!!

Panaji Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 10 › view all entries

The weather is really heating up here now and every day we wake up and pray that it'll be raining; but no the same old sticky sweat inducing weather. We were running low on money so decided to walk into town to use the cashpoint and discovered that our bank had stopped our cashpoint cards yet again. We think that makes it four or five times now in total. They basically admitted that India is such a dishonest place that as soon as you put your card in the machine it will get flagged and stop issuing cash until you call them and confirm that you are in possession of the card. It's very frustrating but you can totally see how deceitful people here are so I guess it's understandable. It has nothing to do with poverty either as the cons, scams and tricks come from all over the social spectrum. Firstly absolutely anything you buy here will be rubbish despite the assurances of quality from the seller. Secondly; check your bill and your change, from waiters to shopkeepers or anyone else you enter into a transaction with they'll either skim some off or add some to your bill. Thirdly, don't use a taxi or autorickshaw, please these guys are evil incarnate and will rip you off mercilessly. Fourthly; we've already mentioned the refilled water bottle scam. Nice!!! Always puncture or crush your used water bottles. Fifth, never use your card to buy anything, it will be cloned. Finally; just because you've agreed a price before hand don't expect that to be the price by the time you've finished!!! This applies to the taxi gits, hotels, shops and restaurants (who add mysterious taxes).

Walking around we needed a bottle of water the other day so went to a shop and the litre bottle was R's14, about the going rate. We handed over a twenty note and the shopkeeper and his assisted entered into some garbled conversation and we waited for our change. The shopkeeper was eyeing us up and down and eventually the assistant returned with a mini kitkat and two sweets and put them on the counter as our 'change'. When we said we wanted cash not sweets the shopkeeper flew into a rage and started yelling at us as though to expect change was an offense. "How much you pay at the fucking beach?' he yelled which was great. 'We haven't been to the beach here arsehole'. We got our twenty back and left with his abuse matched by ours along with some hand gestures and our fervant wishes for his kids to get ill. Got to love India and it's friendly people. The saddest thing is that it's reduced us to their level. Every time we are on the receiving end of their vile behaviour we sink a bit further down to meet it. We know it's not just us as we've had countless conversations with others along the way experiencing exactly the same thing.

We thought we'd escape from India for an afternoon by going to the cinema. We found a fantastic modern and clean cinema called INOX in Panaji which was air conditioned to the maximum. In fact we were both even a little bit cold which was fantastic. Can't recall when we last had that sensation. The film itself was Marie Antoinette and the quality was very poor but as it was in English the cinema was mostly empty and we had one of those precious moments where we allowed yourselves to forget the hellhole outside.

With some nervouseness we decided to leave the pretend India that is Panaji and head up the coast to the beaches. Lets hope it's not a return to the shit strewn streets of real India.


Vikram says:
"Firstly absolutely anything you buy here will be rubbish despite the assurances of quality from the seller" -- again, that's IF you buy it from street vendors or tiny stores. Most electronic goods are made in India these days. And auto rickshaw drivers are not scam. If you had done your research to India, you'd have noticed that most travel books these days (and at the airport) come with a sheet of fares based on the meter. If you show that sheet before you board the rick, you don't get ripped off. I think the only times you can get ripped off is after 10pm when the official rule is "1.5x the rate" but some of them ask for twice the money.
Posted on: Apr 22, 2008
barrieandann says:
You haven't increased my fondness for India or it's people, one bit.
Roll on the 20th.

Much love Mum and Dad. xxxx
Posted on: Apr 17, 2008
Virginiagoodings says:
Oh darlings:
I so understand how you feel!!! Don't will get yourselves back when you are away from the nastiness!
Loads of love
Posted on: Apr 16, 2008
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