After posting such a lovely blog the other day about Goa I feel the need to balance it out with something bad.
Today thrice we have had people trying to scam us.
The first 2 of the day were by our "lovely" hostel owner. Now don't get me wrong, I still think this hostel is amazing, and you should stay here, and the owner is lovely, but just check your change twice. And always check how much your hostel should be (that goes for any hostel though)
The first time she tried to charge us 300 rupees more than we owed and the second was she gave us 100 rupees less than she should. We delt with these quickly and they may have been a mistake but both me and Andy felt it was a scam.
The third was a lot more elaborate.
Yesterday at the beach two young Indian guys, stopped us and started talking to us, they seemed genuine and interesting and very modern. They then invited us to their house to have lunch. We agreed and they said how no other westerners would talk to them. We thought how sad it was that no one else trusted the Indians, and how exciting it was to see a real Indian home.
Today we walked down to the meeting spot, and they picked us up on mopeds. The ride was exciting and I found it so joyful. We arrived at the house they were "housesitting" for their uncle and there younger brother was there.
We all sat and chatted. And then the "bosses" came in. The others left (at one point there were 7 people with us.) And he told us about his importing/exporting jewellery buisness and how taxes were high for exporting a certain amount. I though he seemed like he was on some drugs as he seemed to be chewing or gurning a lot. But then he left and they said he was just checking the house was ok.
The guys then showed us how to make aloo paratha, which is sort of a spicy potato cake (very tasty). They were good fun, but asked us not to take pictures in kitchen as it was bad luck in there culture. We of course complied.
The buisness men then came back and started the sales pitch. We could export jewellery for then to Australia, and make log of money. We didn't even need to take it with us. They would just send the package to Australia and then we would just pick it up with there people in Australia and then we would get money.
Me and Andy declined very quickly and made our excuses about going to yoga and left.
The atmosphere went very werid when the buisness guys came. Everyone else went silent, and I think they were definately trying to make us into drug mules, which is quite scary.
It's sort of made my heart drop abit. Everything in India seemed magical up until then, and its kind of brought me down to earth, and realize people are out to scam you, and not to trust people just because they are lovely and friendly. I want to trust everyone but now it feels like there will always be an ulterior motive. To be fair it is s poor country and we have to remember people are living hand to mouth, and will do extreme things to survive. So I guess this is the 'real' India we wanted to experience.
We have checked our bags and luckily there is no drugs or anything in there, so I think we have got off lightly with no harm done, apart from bruising our gentle hearts and naive idealism.