Annoyances and Inconveniences in India
Scams and rip off's
It's rare for anybody to visit India not get scammed or ripped off at least once. In fact, most days you'll be overcharged for something, however, some scams are a little more serious than others so it's worth educating yourself a little to help avoid such things happening. To start with it helps to be a little cautious of most people you meet. I'm not saying you should be paranoid but if you are aware of what could happen it makes it much easier to spot.
Follow this link for more information on some of the scams in India.Page coming soon!
India is no way a violent country but being a foreigner you must be aware that thieves lurk everywhere. Many thieves will simply follow you until they find the right opportunity to help themselves to your possessions. It only happened to me once and that was entirely my fault. I was swimming in the sea of a beach in Goa, it was about 3 am and I had left my possessions on the beach. Needless to say they were gone when I returned!In general, the only people who get robbed in India are the ones who are careless (like the example above), so taking a few extra precautions is highly recommended. Follow the tips below for an idea.
● When walking in busy places make sure that your bag is kept locked or you put it on backwards (so it rests on your stomach).
● Never leave your stuff unattended (goes without saying really).
● When travelling on trains or buses, make sure that your bags are safe, a bicycle lock or chain is good for ensuring it does not walk. Always keep them close by.
● When staying in cheap and budget hotels, it is recommended that you use your own (substantial) padlock instead of the one provided. Obviously, make sure that the windows and things are all secure before leaving.
● Use a money belt! I rarely did but I did encounter one guy who had his passport in his pocket and as he slept someone had sliced open his pocket and removed all of his money and cards..
● Pickpockets are probably one of the most common problems facing tourists in India so just always be aware of what's going on around you and where you valuables are.
● Don't wear flashy watches or parade your expensive camera.
Please stop staring!
One of the great annoyances and inconveniences in India, especially some of the less touristy spots, is the staring. It's a bit like being famous. Your white skin, bright hair and strange clothes stand out like nothing else on earth in India. This can be an especially big problem for women, follow this link for more information on Women in India . Dealing with the staring is a greatly debated topic when you are travelling in India but you must not take any offence to it. I remember getting quite angry while I was over there which now I feel was greatly unfair to some of the innocences who incurred my wrath. It can however be greatly infuriating when you are sat on an empty train trying to get some sleep and an entire family comes and joins you to stare for a goes hour or so. Staring back never seems to work and the sensitivity of the Indian people rules out being rude so I think it is one of those things that one just has to deal with.
Do you actually know the answer?
The people of India have this rather inconvenient habit of being unable to say no to a stranger. This comes from not wanting to let someone down so instead they will just be incredibly vague. This is most irritating when asking for directions, they basically just make something up if they don't know and even if they do their instructions can be incredibly complicated or incredibly vague.
Crowds and Lining-Up
I think this is one of the most irritating and frustrating things that you have to deal with when travelling in India. The train stations are the worse, when there's 3 thousand people trying to get a ticket but no one is prepared to queue. Being English, I love to queue so I spent hours trying to get my ticket. Lining up in an orderly fashion is unheard of India so the custom is to just push and barge your way to the front. Don't be scared to shout at people and push them out the way, there are never any hard feelings, it usually ends up in a good conversation or an invitation to visit their home! It's imperative that you stand your ground or you never get anywhere.
Some places have special tourist ticket places which can be a godsend or if you are a women or indeed have one with you then she can get the tickets in the women's line which is usually a little more friendly and a lot less crowded.
What exactly is time?
Time often seems like a recent discovery in India that people are still adjusting to. In fact, in some places and with some people I don't think time exists at all! Traffic and the other random things that only happen in India mean that things are always late - and not like five minutes late but hours late! This can make things very hard to plan and very hard to get to places when you need to. Always leave plenty of time for everything you do.
In some areas of India, predominately the south, most shops and things close for lunch and sometimes just won't bother to open again so always get your business done in the mornings.The Indian people also have a truly irritating habit of saying '10 minutes' when, in fact, what they mean is an hour or sometimes two. A bit like the trains, the people also either arrive incredibly late, don't arrive at all or just turn up completely unexpectedly...