Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The "Only in India" file

Kovalam beach and alcohol - You can go to certain licensed restaurants and be served alcoholic drinks but there aren’t many of those. But then you can go pretty much anywhere else and be served alcoholic drinks too. The only difference is that at the unlicensed places the drinks are much cheaper but there are a few extra “rules”. Little things like, if you want a bottle of beer it will be served to you poured into a brown coffee mug and the bottle must be hidden out of sight down by the table leg….Only in India !

The umbrella guy - So today started with hiring a rusty beach umbrella for 50 Rupees, that’s about NZ$1.50. Funny thing is that as the day went on umbrella man decided that I should pay 50 rupees extra as he decided I was a rich man.  I assured him I wasn’t and he got quite grumpy with me as the day went on. It was bad enough that I hadn’t hired a lounger as well….Only in India !

The Safe - So I asked if they had a safety deposit box behind reception at the hotel at Kovalam beach and was told the boy would bring one to the room, which I found to be an interesting response in itself. About three seconds later (garnering a good tip are all about speed apparently, not service !) the boy brings a safe to my room. It’s this steel box with a key, which is all very well but when I asked where they bolt it down to he just starts suggesting various places I maybe 8kg and most certainly designed by the local burglar’s fraternity as it ensures that when the bad guy comes calling he can take all your valuables in one ready made, easy to break in to steel box….Only in India !

Along the lines of the umbrella incident - Relatively uneventful sore-arse drive across to Tiruvannamalai where I was welcomed with flowers around my neck and a coconut drink before being hit with a @%&$#% bill ! I hit the @%&$#% roof !!!! They chose the wrong tired guy on the wrong @%&$#%-@%&$#% day to try and charge more for my stay didn't they ??? I had got a really good deal for my stay here via Hotels.com and it was clearly way to good a deal for them so they decided to have a go at charging me a more suitable rate. They had me sitting there while they @%&$#% around with a calculator working out what, in their view, I should pay. Then the manager of the complex was called to deal with it but he was very scared of me, tried holding my hand (I think so I wouldn't bash him with it !) I could see they had worked this out prior to my arrival and had hoped that I would just say "Oh OK, sure, no problem, here's my credit card" like some dumb-@%&$# @%&$#% idiot... @%&$# !!! They certainly weren't expecting me to give the response I did and backed right off. I walked out and went to my room and waited a couple of hours before going back down with my laptop to do some things, at which time they were trying to pretend none of this had ever happened (Those of you who have been to India know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you ? Bit like some sort of Bali thing) Please note: this story has been censored for obvious reasons but thought I might still show you what is required here sometimes in order to get things done. Seems sometimes a strong expression is required and nothing else will do. So anyway, I have been sitting here using free internet for ages because they are too scared to charge me I think "complimentary, for the misunderstanding Mr Graham" Misunderstanding my @%&# Funny thing is (and perhaps this you can imagine also) that they have worked out that all I need to do is sign a letter to head office telling that I refuse to pay, then everything will be OK. We'll see about that now won't we ? @%&$#% !!!….Only in @%&$#% India !

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