I was planning to meet up with a Couchsurfer (not stay with him, just make friends). But it all seemed a little suspicious when he started asking for money for a tour… He asked me for Rs 2500 for an all day tour, and I am not one for jam-packed sight-seeing. I decided I would find my own way around, since I only wanted to visit a few places.
The Pink City of Jaipur is not so pink anymore..
There are several Monkey Temples in Jaipur, I asked a tuk-tuk driver to take me to a specific one. He first took me to the zoo. Then I asked him to look at the name of this temple and I am fairly certain that he still did not take me to the place I intended.
Anyway, as we arrived we were greeted by this young local boy – whose English skills were very good, but spoken with a very heavy speech impediment. I obliged and allowed him to take me up to see the monkeys.
That was my first mistake! I should have asked him if he wanted money for his time right from the start – but being me, I thought he was just being a friendly local.
He threatened to call the monkeys to bite me
We went into some abandoned buildings where the monkeys live (no people live there anymore). Then after feeding all the peanuts to the monkeys, he took me up to a rooftop for a great view over the entire city. You can see the mountains surrounding the built-up area as if it were a natural wall around the city.
And it was here that he asked me for money, way too much money. And I refused, of course I did! He cornered me so I could not actually pass to descend the stairs into safety. Then he threatened to call the monkeys to bite me and send me to hospital if I did not agree to his price.
I’m smiling only because it was before the incident.
I flipped the coin on him, asking him how he could ‘be my friend’ then take me to a place I could not leave and then threaten me. I worked him down to a more sensible agreement, but still a very shocking and eye-opening experience.