Just say no, trust me, it’s easier in the long run

Are you the kind of person who says Yes to life?

Then Mysore, India, could be very dangerous for you… and your wallet.

But let’s accentuate the positive. The palace of Tipu Sultan, Tiger of Mysore (by all accounts a prize idiot who provoked the British once too often) is a feast of teak and ivory, chandeliers and mirrors, not to mention the rows of entitled looking royalty and their plump beady eyed kids lining every wall.

The zoo is a fun and seemingly kind place, full of enormous birds straight out of the movie Madagascar and signs exhorting visitors to treasure their wildlife. From what I read about chained elephants and poisoned tigers, these exhortations are sorely needed.

And now for the other stuff.

Here’s the thing. I don’t know if it’s possible to catch a tuk tuk in Mysore without being kidnapped and taken to a place of retail execution..if it is, I have yet to experience it. A common taxi experience goes like this…

We’d like to go to the palace thanks

Palace yes but first see beautiful silk, incense… just look, only one minute..

No just palace, thanks anyway

We go to old bazaar many oils spices only twenty rupees?

No thanks

Just for five minutes…only ten rupees..


Oh well then. He who gives up and goes straight to the palace lives to fight for his commission another day..

I did read a blog by someone who agreed to every suggestion made to her in Mysore. It makes horrifying reading. Among the many helpful ideas presented to her was this one,

Marijuana is legal here. Why don’t you come to my basement alley and try some hash/special coffee/medicinal chai?

The man gets that a lot here because of the beard and long hair. Sadly for him, I refuse.

And the final interesting aspect of this southern town is the enthusiasm of its citizens for taking selfies with huge ugly Westerners. To be fair it’s not just Mysore: everywhere we’re followed by cries of”Sir! Madam! Just one photo please?” And the next thing you know we’re surrounded by hordes of sareed beauty queens, teenage princes and doe-eyed princesses, all the while trying to maintain a toothy grin through multiple takes…

I’m beginning to see what life must be like for Angelina and Brad.

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