Captured at newsgroup rec.travel.asia
From: ud877@ freenet. victoria.bc.ca (Susan Z. Martin)
Subject: Touts and Guides --A view from their side
I thought I'd just post a few very personal and subjective comments on touts and guides. You see I am married to a man who lives in a small village in Rajasthan (Eklingji, outside Udaipur) and he is one of those "guides" that you often encounter in India. Yes he can be a bit of a nuisance to tourists, no he is not a thief, no he does not have any intention of cheating you out of tons of money and he is certainly not a rapist :).
He is 23 years old and dropped out of school in his mid-teens (at about grade 8 or so)....When I met him in 1993 he told me that he just used to ask God to "send" him enough tourists a day so that he could afford 2 new outfits of clothes a year, food twice a day, a few cigarettes and a few glasses of tea (each day).
He is a good guide but as I try to explain to him with so many people bothering tourists in India it is difficult for sincere people like him to attract foreigners....I think that my husband is fairly typical of touts and guides all over India. I know they are annoying when they shout and gather round you and yell and poke and ask you asinine questions. But give a second to think about their situation and although you do not have to use their services at least try and understand why they are like this....Would we be any different in the same position?
Anyway--there's my two bits worth. Don't worry, I am not some kind of angel (and neither is my husband)--I routinely lose my temper with the legions of hangers on and he's been targeted by touts and guides when we've traveled outside his home district....Don't let touts and guides put you off going to India. Consider them as part of the package and try and enjoy them. If you pick one from a crowd, take him for a cup of tea and ask him to outline the attractions of his city and settle on a price for showing you around, you may be surprised at how knowledgeable and reasonable he is--and if he isn't, pick another :).
postech.ac.kr (K.M. Giansante)
Subject: Re: Touts and Guides--A view from their side
Is this post for real?
Why don't you get the poor bastard a Canadian visa? He'd probably LOVE Victoria. All those tourists...