Two weeks away from India now and wading through the Khao San like tourist ghetto of Thamel in Kathmandu, I’m beginning to appreciate the good points of some of the nastier parts of India I’ve been to.
The nasty parts of India are cheap. They are so cheap and so nasty they bring new meaning to the phrase. The only other positive thing about those nasty places is that in comparison to what the locals have to suffer, you’re getting a great deal. You get what you pay for I guess although there have many times in India where I’ve felt that the guesthouse should be paying me to stay in their filthy cesspit.
I also got a small insight into why the Isrealis are so detested by India backpacker service providers everywhere. The Israelis do not compromise. When they pay a measly amount of money for a service, they expect to get their money’s worth. Sometimes, they expect more than their money’s worth (ie basic hygiene, a modicum of honesty). When they dont get their money’s worth, the Israelis get angry and there’s something scary about a group of combat-trained young Israelis getting angry over 10 rupees. In India, but probably nowhere else in the world, there’s something incredibly unreasonable about how they expect the poor Indian guesthouse owner, tour operator, etc to actually deliver what they promised, to actually be competent or at least failing that to be honest.
The Indians, I think, hate the Israelis because the Israelis remind them consistently how incompetent and dishonest their tourism industry is, at least at the backpacker level. After I got that little insight, I started to like the Israelis a lot more. I’ve always admired how hardass they were anyway but this time, I’m actually cheering them on.
Keep putting the boot in! Maybe after a decade or two, the Indian backpacker tourism industry may start resembling Thailand or Nepal.
EDIT: Corrected Isrealis -> Israelis