Top Tip 4

Is about tipping

Its quite amazing how many people forget to tip or think its not done to tip (really?!)

Tip, Obviously if you’re happy with the service you’ve received provide a thank you in the form of a tip. Round it up, minimum 10 Rs maybe five to ten percent of the cost. There is no golden rule. but do tip. Try to remember the people behind the scenes: the one who clears the table, the cleaner wherever you stay, they get paid the least and may not see anything of the usual tips. The minimum wage is 200 rs per day and with the growth of the  middle classes and effects on tourism prices are seriously going up. It just might not seem it to you.

If you’re not happy then it’s an important statement not too.

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I was a bit mad when I first visited india twelve or so years ago. Someone just had to look in my direction to get ten rupees. At one hotel, with a lift, every time I went up or down I gave him a tip. Now that was too much. I was his best mate. 😉

It’s really easy to forget, especially if you’ve had an itinerary arranged by a company so you’re not paying for things as you travel around.

So its important to tip but also to keep in mind what’s an appropriate amount. If we go the other way and tip too much then it feeds foreigner inflation. Maybe we’ll do another top tip covering how to  work out the correct price to pay.

I was amazed to hear that some travellers had read advice that you shouldn’t tip in India, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Please do tip.

At our house we have a tin for tips that go directly to the cleaners and the gardener. Manjula only takes for the money she’s given to pay for any meals she makes.

If I ever get any tips from delivering a cycle tour (it does happen once in a blue moon), they go to charity.

So what to tip?

we’ve found a great intro to how much to tip on this site

IMG_5674Created by our wonderful friends at Indiasomeday, (check their main site, they put itineraries together for people) whose guests when visiting Mysore come stay with us at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

Here’s our inconsisten take on what to tip. (On reading it again, it definitely seems like I’m a bit tight.)

Just today we were at one of our favourite lunch time ‘hotels’ (meaning restaurant) the cost of the meal was 600 Rs, we left a 20 Rs tip (its shared amongst all the staff) tip and another  10 rs to the car park attendants (its maybe not shared!). I’m from Yorkshire and we’re known to be a bit tight but we DO tip.

In Hampi, during our last visit (check the blog for more info) Manjula and I were discussing the young guy working at the Guest house. I can’t believe it but Manjula gave him 200, now she’s acting the Maharani. He said that foreigners never gave tips, just the Indians gave. Astonishing!

p1150171Oh and another thing: Drivers. they are of course a mixed bag but we do tend to get a little bit fed up of them trying it on all the time. (We have found a selection of great drivers who promise no hassle!) So I’m really careful how I tip a driver. I want to tip to reinforce good behaviour (the ineffective stick and carrot) so if they use the meter, are helpful, do their job well, I’ll definitely tip. I see it as an encouragement to be nice guys. In particulate our drivers will not be tricksy ( I hope)  and if they’ll been hanging around at the airport for your flight, they’ve been helpful with the baggage and generally driven well, please do get them a tip.

On the other hand if you get an auto driver that will not use the meter, don’t use him (if you can be bothered) and if in anyway he’s tricksy make a point of demanding the exact fare. and wo wo wo if he wants you to visit a shop to help him get a voucher for petrol then he’s just lost his tip and any future work!

That’s my approach anyway. It might be pushing a rock up the hill to try change the approach of the drivers but I’m trying and our drivers are pretty good!

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Top Tips

The first of our tips focus on how to deal with some of the challenges you might face, particularly if you’re a first time visitor to India.

So if you’re aware, take your time, and follow the simplest traveller rules you’ll find India the richest of experiences where you’ll wish to return for more.

Number One: Everything, always takes longer than you expect.

Check here

Number Two: India will change you, so be prepared.

Check here

Number Three: one night stands aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Check here

Number four: is about tipping.

check here 

More top tips will follow.

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Minor’s Mysore

things to do for children and the ‘young at heart’

this is just a quick list as its occurred to me, I’ll add links and images, in due course,

Karanji Lake: birds, butterflies, walk, play area, boats (not up to standard), 20 mins walk from the MysoreBnB

Sand Museum, sculptures of sand, located on the road to Chamundi Hill, where there’s a few other attractions for the tourists. 15-20 minutes walk

Lalith Mahal Hotel: outdoor swimming pool to spend the day (ID required and there’s a fee)also a bar and restaurant (can be hit and miss) 15-20 minutes walk from MysoreBnB

Zoo, its a zoo after all but reputedly one of the best in India. Ten minutes away in Auto Rickshaw

Ransoms (its a shop opposite the zoo) where they often have exhibitions in the basement of dolls and board games (of course they are also for sale)

Parks, immediately outside the Mysore BnB is the first of a series of twelve small parks, each with a slightly different focus, that offer places to sit and relax, play on climbing frames, even skating…..

Natural History Museum, need to go check that one out

Wax Museum: bit basic but some have liked it. There’s even a blog entry from previous guests (i’ll find it)ten minutes walk

Festivals, depends, on the time of year but there’s Dasara around october time, Ganesh september/october, Diwali (mainly in people’s homes) and many many more.

and of course there’s all the regular stuff which are also great for we younger ones: Mysore Palace (looks splendid in the photos), Devaraj Market, so atmospheric with its smells and colours of fruit, veg and flowers; Chamundi Hill for Nandi the giant bull and wonderful views of the city, museums and art galleries; Silk Mill, fab foodartisan’s workshops (stone and wood) or just wandering around the streets to stumble across the hidden gems, like the yak man…..

and of course… shopping!

and of course tara tara. our Mycycle tours of Srirangaptnam are all geared up for children with small cycles, tag-a-long and child seat for ‘toddlers.’

SF/17Sept2017

lovely people, fab reviews

I’m just catching up and responding to reviews on Trip Advisor. Its such a nice job, its actually one of those we should all aim for, a job that’s not a job, because we love it so much. We’ve got exactly that here, whether its welcoming guests, helping them get the best out of Mysore, helping them solve problems (lack of Rupee notes, comes to mind), chatting over dinner, making breakfast and dinner, preparing for new guests, keeping it ship shape, sharing jokes, building bridges across oceans and cultures. super!

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Thank you so much to all of you who have left feedback and reviews wherever you’ve done it. Fact is we wouldn’t have been able to create what we have without it, our guests over the years have depended on fair, open and frank reviews. Thank you.

Top Tips

Number One

It always takes longer than you expect!

You’ve decided to visit India, maybe for the first time. Although regular travellers, including myself,  make exactly the same mistake, of not accounting for the fact that everything takes longer. Its all part of the challenge.

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To have decided to come here you’ve already been on a sort of journey. You’ve had to reject some of the lurid tales, the negative publicity, the lack of decent information coming from the authorities.

We know its going to be challenging in one way or another but we also know its going to be immensely rewarding.

Its going to cost a fair amount just to get to India. If we’re lucky we’ve managed to get plenty of time to be here but its such a big, varied, fascinating place, there is the tendency to try and fit in too much, however much time you have!

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The one thing we sometimes forget in our enthusiasm is it always takes longer to do ANYTHING in India! Whether its travelling from A to B, getting a SIM card, ordering a meal (sorry sir we don’t have that), booking things when they don’t accept a foreign debit card, reserving a train journey (online) when you have to register with your passport details and sometimes a local phone number. It can all seem both complex and transient.

You’re now on shifting sand.

Its always useful to remember that these things are part of your experience, but it must be said, that it mostly takes longer than you expect because there is just so much to do, to take in and to absorb as imageit’s such a wonderfully diverse, idiosyncratic, bonkers place.

So please remember, our number one tip is that when you’re planning your India itinerary:

allow plenty of flexibility as you’ll wish to stay longer in some places,

assume it takes a day to travel between places

you might get tired travelling and it can feel FULL ON, so build in relaxing places where you can get a bit of respite and find the switch off button

its a fascinating place and most people love to get ‘under its skin’ and that means allowing for depth and not just breadth

Because EVERYTHING Takes LONGER than you EXPECT..

Bio note

Stephen is from the UK and has now lived in Mysore for seven years. He continues to visit London to deliver training workshops for business. He knows very very little about lots of things.

Manjula tolerates Stephen

Lucy is sweet.

More details of our life here in Mysore can be found here.

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