The street we were ‘hanging out’ in Jaipur
Yesterday, I told you about the main tips about traveling. Now, I will expand a bit.
And yeah. Some heads up. Here is the page of my driver: https://www.facebook.com/HnyTour If you travel to India, do not hesitate to contact him. He is a reliable and cool guy.
1. Taxi, riksha or tuk-tuk.
People mainly use riksha or tuk-tuk here. Tuk-tuk costs 10-50 rupees depending on the destination. If it’s close — 10 is ok. If it’s farther — 50 is ok. You ask, you bargain, you arrive, you pay. If you ask the driver to wait — you have to pay a tip or extra.
Don’t worry if you can’t find tuk-tuk drivers. They will find you and will annoyingly ask you to use their service. The key here is not to look or respond to them. Out of 20, one will curse you in Hindi, but it doesn’t matter. The skill I got in 2015 of paying no attention to taxi drivers or tuk-tuk drivers is priceless. I don’t even bother or get nervous.
Our pot and equipment we used
2. Driver extras.
Some drivers will propose you some ‘extra’ service. It depends on the trip and the driver. In my case, the driver asked me what I like and what hobbies I have. He wanted to bring me to some ‘happy’ massage place in Agra. But I refused because the trip was too exhausting, and I wanted to get some sleep after getting up at 6 AM. However, it is still possible to ask for this kind of stuff. The next day, drivers were gathering.
Shortly, they do not stay in the same hotel as the customers. They stay in the shitty room with beds and fans, sleep there, wash in the sink and then go to duty again. Sometimes, they have ‘driver hotels’ where they sleep together, have a decent shower, and then go back to work at 6AM. They are quite hardworking. But some appreciation is a must. So, out of all people — they deserve tips. If you can pay extra tips for good service — do it. If you don’t have money, pay a minimum of 10$ wage per day. But try to be a little bit more generous. Nobody expects you to pay 100$ per day — honesty, decency, respect, and entertaining stories are exemplary. And, of course, recommendations and comments on the social networks.
From my conversations with other drivers, and other friends who traveled in India, I know about the stories when girls who travel alone sleep with drivers, borrow money and then pay by sex, men ask to find some good local medicine for sexual stamina, some Asian girls pay for an apartment and have threesomes for a week with drivers because it is an exotic experience. So, any kind of stuff happens. Any kind of entertainment is possible. If you dragged yourself into going somewhere with a personal driver — he is your guide, friend, pal, guru, and local mastermind of your trip.
Do. Not. Be. An. Asshole. Otherwise, the experience of your trip will fall down to a minimum.
3. What can you do in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur?
1) Shopping. You need to bargain severely. If you can’t bargain — skip it. For example, in some loom shop, I was asked 2500 rupees for a shirt. Then, the guy dropped it to 500. It means the cost is around 25-50 rupees. Bargain to 100, then tell — I buy three for 300, and you give me one. You can circle around that offer and get what you want. But beware — if they don’t have your size, they will promise to fix it until you leave. But for one free shirt, they will likely ‘forget’ to fix it. You must make sure there, at the shop, that everything is fixed. Wait if needed.
2) Sights. Easy.
3) Local drinking at the tourists’ bars. Boring. But you can meet interesting tourists. Maybe even hook up with someone.
4) Local drinking at the local bars. Much better option. Cheaper. More valuable connections or funny talks. Be ready to entertain people. If you’re grumpy, nervous or dull — you won’t have a good experience. Can hook up with the local.
5) Spend more time and explore the place. Beware of scams and misleading. Speaking of…
Our meal. It was awesome
This is one of the main things happening to foreigners. Scammers, or not necessarily scammers, always try to tell, show, or get you somewhere else. For example, they tell you they will take you to the official state ticket station, but they will get you to the private tourist agency. They will have a massive sign at the front — the OFFICIAL TICKET OFFICE. It’s all bullshit. They are selling you the service. If they ask for 300 bucks, the cost is around 150. At least 100. They need 50 more for gas, drivers’ service, 50 more to get some profits. They also tip the tuk-tuk drivers who will get you to them. These drivers won’t bother asking you for a tip. Because they ‘provided you with guidance and service, they waited.’
Misleading is everywhere. Do not fall into that. Or you will waste money.
5. How to save money?
— Avoid misleading.
— Do a research before going anywhere or even to India.
— Get some local friends.
— Be nice. Ignore people whom you do not know. But do not be a jerk.
— Keep your money in your pockets separately — big bills left, small bills right, reserve — in the backpack. If you have sports shorts with the inside pocket for the phone — put some there. It will save your ass.
You may save up to 20-30% of your expenses if you do not fall into misleading or scam.
Enough for now.