Chop Shop Touring
Tanah Rata Travel Blog› entry 93 of 174 › view all entries
December 18th, 2009 – by: domnicella
The “tour” was essentially a tout who took us around to the different sites and pimped their wares for sale. We couldn’t actually tour the strawberry farm (let alone pick our own strawberries, which is a favorite of mine) nor the tea plantation, the rose and butterfly gardens had additional entrance fees, the honey bee farm turned out to be one giant souvenir shop with some bee boxes out back.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, our tour guide-cum-tout starts the morning (we’re talking before 8am -- early) in a far too loud and chipper tone, and gives us his first name but instructs us to call him “Mr. Singh.” Like that bodes well. Tell the girl with the authority problem to call you “Mister.” He then rambles on and on, in his obnoxious loud chipper tone, about all the wonders we were going to see, as if we had signed up for a tour without bothering to check what was included. Dude, it’s early as hell. Shut UP. Yammer yammer yammer, and it didn’t stop all day. All day! And everything he had to tell us was the MOST interesting thing we’d ever heard, and the MOST spectacular wonder we’d ever beheld.
So on one hand, it was good to see everything in one fell swoop. On the other, I was resentful of always being directed toward the souvenir shop and being pressed to buy something and the additional admission fees at every turn (on top of the tour fee). But I met a fun group of people who commiserated with me over the never ending rain and the irksome tour guide, and we had a late lunch together in Tanah Rata, reviving ourselves with tasty Indian food. The afternoon continued to rain (in fairness, it’s the beginning of the rainy season and I am in the tropics), which gave me a few hours to comb travel sites and hammer out some details for down the road. It was a good day, and I really enjoyed being in the highlands, far away from a loud hot city. Raincoats and long sleeves were a welcome change of pace. Nice.
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