Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stupid Tourists...

Auto-rickshaw fiasco….

The other day, we were told by a group of women who work at the Fulbright House that the place to go to easily buy some Indian clothes is called Fab India. Fab India is kind of like the Target of India but the nice part is that you can try things on and that you don’t have to haggle over prices, which is nice because that is very stressful. So, we were told where the biggest Fab India is and walked out of our hotel compound to the street where there were immediately autorickshaw drivers coming up to us asking us where we were going. There were 5 of us Fulbrighters and immediately about 5 rickshaws swarmed us. They were all telling us a different story. One said Fab India is closed on Tuesday. One said it would cost 300 rupees to get there (our hotel and our travel leader who is from Delhi had just told us to pay no more than 70 rupees) and another told us that Fab India is not where we should go.

It is very overwhelming to be swarmed by drivers with all of them basically yelling different stories at you and you are trying to figure out just what the hell is going on! So, finally, we couldn’t deal and we decided we would just walk back to the hotel and get a taxi and find out if Fab India was really closed on Tuesdays. The drivers are pretty convincing and it makes it very difficult to know what the real story really is. So then, we went  back to the hotel concierge and asked them about Fab India and they said there was on at the market just down the street and that it was open.

So, we walked back down to the street and started walking toward the market. Again, we were swarmed and this time they told us they would charge us only 10 rupees (which is like 25 cents) to go to the market. Since we hadn’t been there, even though it was walking distance (see Frogger entry to see why we wouldn’t want to walk) we decided to take the rickshaw. We were in two of them and the drivers kept pulling up next to each other in between weaving in and out of traffic. They pulled over and stopped and asked us if we wanted to go to Kahn Market 1 or 2? As far as we knew, there was only one Kahn Market but seriously, what do we know?  

They kept saying that Kahn Market 2 was better and so we agreed to go there. We passed a sign for Kahn Market about 3 minutes after we got into the rickshaw and then we kept going and going and going. After about 10 minutes of driving, I was really wondering what was going on since our hotel had told us that it was walking distance. So, we finally stopped after weaving through traffic for 20 minutes. IT WAS NOT KAHN MARKET!!! Not in ANY way were we even close to where we had asked to go!

We went into the market that they had brought us to and guess what, it was FULL of white people, tourists! HA! We had so been duped! This new market was very expensive and obviously the rickshaw drivers have some deal with the market people to bring tourists there since there weren’t actually any Indian people there except for the employees! It totally reminded me of when I was in Italy and people would always say, “special price, just for you!” We called this market the CON MARKET, which cracked us up. The drivers took us back to the hotel and this time we walked to the actual Kahn Market in about 10 minutes! 


Diane Lauer said...

that is so true!!! they get a commission for bringing in customers... so sorry.. did you get some nice...saris?

Megan said...

Ugh. That happened in Costa Rica all the time! There would be about 20 cab drivers that would meet you at the bus station and convince you the motel or hostel you wanted to go to was really bad.