Mysore runaround

Trip Start Sep 30, 2009
1
23
37
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of India  , Karnataka,
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mo's Entry

Back to a busy cosmopolitan city!  Wow did we eat well here!  Check out the pics of our veg thalis served on banana leaves...eaten with our hands...just the right hand...the left one is for something else!!!

 We met up with our buddy Greedy again and from his story it sounds like he was glad to find us too.  He was sort of kidnapped and taken off to some remote part of the city to a hotel with no running water and bed bugs.  He had some more stories to tell us about what happened to him before he found us but he''ll have to tell them to you.There are lots of ''touts' here who will tell you the palace is closed or that this is the very last day to see the market or that there is a special music concert that they will take you to...what they want to do is bring you to a shop so they can make commission on anything you'll buy.  We actually had a fairly honest tuktuk driver and he gave us some options for hotels and let us pick our choice or his choice...his choice was cheaper and had more amenities so we decided to trust him.  Mike and I did get some silk...Mike got two silk shirts made and I bought some Pashmina.

Greedy Mike and I found good food plus a little hole in the wall bar...the locals kind of gasped when I came in because women do not frequent this establishment but got used to me in time. We also spent a day on a bus adventure...no I mean going to Sravanabelagola to see a huge Jain Deity carved out of stone.  very cool!  After three buses and wondering if we were going the right direction we arrived, climbed up some steps carved into the  stone in midday heat and saw a 40 foot statue.  Greedy was so thirsty he even drank some fosters!

The Mysore Palace!  The most amazing palace I've seen!  Many of the ceilings were carved in intricate patterns in mahogany, beautiful tiled floors and pillars painted in huge hall with lots of stained glass in peacock patterns.  Wow!   We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside though.  Mike almost got eaten by a lion though.

Mike's Entry

 The auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) drivers'  would give you the runaround by telling you that something was closed on a certain day or time that where you were going was much further than it was or it was better to go to this shop instead of the one you were walking to in the hope of getting you into their tuk-tuk to get a fare and commission if you happened to buy anything in the shop they took you to, this would make any bargaining harder because the shop would include the commission price on the sale. But we wouldn't fall for it because we had been in India for almost 3 months by this time and were wise to their little scams so we would walk off.

There's more... I was looking for a place to do some inter netting when I came across a travel place that had Internet sign outside. I ask if I can use the Internet and the girl sits me down at the only computer in the place. As she's powering up the computer for me she starts chatting with us where we had been and how dishonest some Indian people are towards tourists but we tell her other than the bartering which is part of the culture we had found the Indian people to be very honest. She than extols herself as one of the honest ones. I then ask the price and she quotes me the highest price of any Internet place in India so far! I figure I'll just make my visa payment and that's it. After 10 minutes of not getting anywhere on her painfully slow computer I tell her I'm done I give her money for 15 minutes worth but this honest Indian says I was on the computer for 1/2 an hour and wants more money I didn't pay it.

The day before we leave Mysore we go to the bus station to purchase tickets for Fort Cochin our next destination. At the bus depot the computers are down no Internet. We ask is it possible to purchase tickets not on line to Fort Cochin. She sends us to bay 9 at the other end of the station. We head to bay 9 wait in line to talk to the man at the desk. When it's our turn we ask to purchase tickets to Ft. Cochin he says other end of station. I tell that the computers are down and to purchase tickets from here. He looks at me like he's thinking and tells me bay 11. We head to bay 11 all there is at bay 11 is a table with a ledger and no clerk. We ask around is there a clerk who works here, they say yes. I say where is he they tell me he's around look for the uniformed guy with the special hat. Well 20 minutes later special hat guy shows up and we asked to buy tickets to Ft Cochin, he tells us bay 9, I tell him clerk at bay 9 told us bay 11 he insists at bay 9. This when I coined the phrase the Mysore runaround. We head back to bay 9 and as I suspected we weren't going to get any help. After checking a few other places I know we aren't getting are tickets today. 

But the Mysore runaround didn't end there. When go to check out of our hotel they tried to get more out of us by putting a fake tax on the bill but we didn't pay it because we told we had agreed on a price with the other reception clerk so that included everything. He then tries to charge Greedy at a higher price for his room than they agreed to and we said we brought him to your hotel and you said it was the same price and Greedy even had a receipt the clerk had written so he didn't pay the higher price. We now don't trust the hotel to watch our baggage. Mo says no problem the lonely planet travel guide says the bus depot has left But the Mysore runaround didn't end there. When go to check out of our hotel they tried to get more out of us by putting a fake tax on the bill but we didn't pay it because we told we had agreed on a price with the other reception clerk so that included everything. He then tries to charge Greedy at a higher price for his room than they agreed to and we said we brought him to your hotel and you said it was the same price and Greedy even had a receipt the clerk had written so he didn't pay the higher price. We now don't trust the hotel to watch our baggage. Mo says no problem the lonely planet travel guide says the bus depot has left luggage area no cost. We go to get a tuk-tuk and they see us with our back packs on and they want triple the price we paid yesterday to get there. We don't pay it and walk away, Mo and I have lost alot of weight carrying our backpacks walking away from tuk-tuk drivers who try to over charge us. We get to the bus station Internet is up and running we can purchase our tickets, yahoo! We then ask to leave our luggage in their storage facility but this not possible due to construction going on at the main building. Oh well there is plenty hotels around the depot one them will let us store our bags. Wrong!! The Mysore runaround is starting to get the best of me. My solution is to walk to the beer garden restaurant at the park lane hotel to have a cold beer. We ask at reception on the way up to the restaurant if we could store our luggage with them but like everywhere else if you were staying with us you could store with us. We take our backpacks up to the restaurant and ponder over a chilly one what or we going to with our backpacks for the next 8 hours before our overnight bus leaves. No real good solution came to us. So we pay our beer bill put our backpacks on head down stairs and as we leave we ask the park lane clerks one more time to store luggage and this they must of seen the desperation written on our faces because they said yes. Yahoo!!! The Mysore runaround is officially over! 









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