Saturday, December 20, 2008

Czech to Chennai

I was in my hometown Chennai for a visit during May this year. Me and my brother were traveling to a suburban area and we entered a roadside restaurant.
As I was placing orders, I saw a European tourist with a heavy bagpack entering the eatery. She looked around curiously and before I could say “Hi,” she approached me and asked, “Where is the restroom please?”
I guided her. She asked me to take care of the baggage. Returning after three minutes, she thanked me. “Welcome to Chennai. Where are you from?” I started off.
“Well, it’s a place called Czech Republic,” she replied casually.
“Oh, you are from Prague,” I continued.
She looked surprised. Many people here have not heard of my country, she said. “I better know. Klaus is your president, right (I hope so)?” I asked.
She was a little impressed. I introduced my brother and we parted as good friends. She said she was proceeding to Pondicherry for a meditation session.
Personally, I have high regard for tourists. No one can deny that there are also brutes among us who misbehave with such goodhearted travelers. I feel rage gripping me if I read any news of travelers being illtreated. If there is a proposal to stiffen punishment for crime against tourists, I will be the first to raise my hand.


Onkar said...

So correct. Tourists are our guests. How can we ignore this simple fact ?

Vinisha said...

Even I was surprised that you new a little more than just being familiar with the country name. :)

And I couldnt help thinking how easy it would be for that tourist to get deceived in India handing over the luggage to a perfect stranger. I hope you warned her.

nituscorner said...

That was very nice of you ramesh....sometimes for a handful of unruly people our tourist instead of fond memories carry back a lot of unpleasantness with them.

humanobserver said...

true...It is our duty to respect them....

The Phoenix said...

Very true! I hate it when tourists are mislead.

I too faced a similar incident in Mysore, years ago! My dad being a traveller started talking to this couple from Amsterdam. He guided them well about where to shop and how to avoid people who mislead. They were so courteous and thankful...and it just felt so nice to have helped someone.

Fida said...

More than not it’s our own fault if we get treated badly. We are each other’s mirrors, right? And everybody gets robbed, not just tourists. I travelled the world over and only have good stories to tell. Like the one in Coimbatore, where I was sick like a dog (if you know what I mean). On the train from Ooty to Coimbatore, everybody fed me and I just couldn’t say no, and then getting hit by heat and humidity after that cool mountain air, my body just rebelled. At the train station in Coimbatore I asked an elderly man for the restrooms,and he told me I had to go upstairs. I looked at my backpack, and even though it’s never heavy doesn’t contain any valuables, I just couldn’t make myself carry that thing upstairs. He said he would take care of it, but I never, ever should do that with someone else (Indians always warn you from the next Indian – grin). When I came back, I felt much better but was exhausted and so I lay down in the waiting room, because my train to Kochi left 4 hours later. I put my head on the backpack and slept heavenly for hours. When I woke up that old man was still there, keeping an eye on me, shaking his head at my stupidity, and told me that he was scared leaving me alone for the rest of my trip. I felt bad because I am sure he missed his own train or had better things to do, my Coimbatore-Angel. Awfully nice!