Disclaimer: Writing on behalf of an acquaintance who had a not so pleasant experience with cab drivers and hospitality people, while on a road trip to South India and Bengal.
Recently we went on 2 road trips, one to South India for religious purposes and another to Darjeeling and Sikkim. While the Sikkim leg of the journey and the people there were an absolute pleasure, on the flip side Bengal and South India parts was just dreadful.
The one thing that stayed with us the most through this road trip was the drivers and their BATAMEEZI.
I don’t think I can state this enough, but the drivers that operate the tourist cabs at both of these places are a complete nightmare.
They are extremely rude, non-cooperative and every ready to get in a fight. For practically everything, their answer is no. And for any issue raised, their first resort is to fight with their passenger.
On one such occasion, we were 4 people in an Innova (all over 50 years of age) and got no assistance (even when requested) for luggage or switching on/off the AC as per our convenience.
After 6 pm if they stopped at any place, most of them (the drivers) would form a group and start drinking, and of course, they would still continue to drive even after that.
They would drive so fast and rash, that even after repeated warnings, we had no other way out than to start praying for our lives.
While in South we met with a head-on collision, which lead to major nerve compression for me, a bone exposing deep and wide cut on my husband’s leg, which took 2 months to heal, and a trauma like experience for all of us for the next 4 months, even when back home on Delhi roads.
In Bengal, although their culture and people left a great impression on us, but we had to tell them, “aap aur ese behave karo, saare tourist bhaag jayenge.”
Because it wasn’t just the drivers who created so much trouble for us on this road trip, but even the hotel staff left a sour taste for us on this trip.
In the hotel in Bengal, for everything they told us, ‘it’s kept there, go and get it yourself’.
Basically NO SERVICE.
NO as an answer for everything or DO IT YOURSELF, which is neither the standard Indian hospitality rule nor is something that we expect out of a 4-star hotel.
Coming back to the South, one thing that we noticed was that if they screw up and fighting doesn’t get them a way out, they will start shouting: speak in Kannada, speak in Kannada! We don’t understand Hindi!
We figured that the best way to retort to them is by saying, we are tourists, we are not supposed to know your language, why should we speak Kannada, you speak English!
With such an attitude, forget about any special requests (for which you are ready to pay extra), they won’t even do the bare minimum of proper cab services.
The insides of the cabs are cleaned only on the first day, after which they don’t clean it for the number of days you have booked the taxi.
So that was our experience with cab drivers and hospitality people, on this road trip through South India and Bengal.
It is truly sad to see that these places that are such big tourist magnets and have so much to offer in terms of history and culture, have such bad services being given out.
Image Credits: Google Images