Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is the joke on us?

On Monday after work Jen and I made our way through Delhi traffic to go the Jama Masjid mosque. Walking through the long parkway, which was packed with vendors, to the mosque entrance was just as challenging as the Delhi traffic. At the entrance of the mosque some man greeted us and said that we had to wear these ridiculous blue frocks that looked like something you get at a hair salon.  They were bright blue plastic with some paisley design. Jen and I were suspicious at first and pushed back. Our friends had been here a couple weeks ago and they didn't have to wear a frock. We were not about to be duped like newbie tourists! We told the guy that we were not going to wear it. We pointed to all the other women walking around without having to wear blue mumus. He insisted that the other women were Muslims and didn’t have to wear it but we had to. It didn’t make sense because how did he know what their religion was or ours for that matter.

After some going back and forth we just put it on because this is this biggest mosque in India and we didn’t want to not see it. When we walked in, I just saw more Indian ladies in their normal attire not wearing a ridiculous frock. I was getting annoyed because Saris show more skin then the long pants and sleeved clothes we were wearing under this huge, plastic sheet. Then I started looking around the plaza and saw pockets of blue Smurfs like women fidgeting with their attire while scrambling around. All the foreign women were wearing them too. This relaxed us a bit and we let the guy who gave us the frock be our unofficial guide. He walked us around and tried to tell us about the mosque but his tour was just as silly as the frocks we were wearing.

The "guide" didn't know anything about the mosque history. So now again, I was back to thinking that this was a scam. The guide who called himself the guide didn’t even know what year the mosque was built! He was more obsessed with making sure the frock was in place. Several times he adjusted my frock. At the end of “the tour” he insisted he walk us out even though we wanted to take more pictures. We ended up taking some pictures but I would never frame them or anything because you can’t see the mosque! The frocks are covering everything including the mosque. Finally he walked us out and got our frocks and asked for 20 rupees each to wash them! We only gave him 20 rupees instead of 40 but I am still not sure if this was a scam. I told people at the office and some people said it was legit some people just laughed. Maybe one of these days, someone will see Jen and I on an episode of Candid Camera. If you do, please let me know.


Michael said...

Sounds like a scam to me. I feel like there were a bunch going on there. When we came down from the minaret, they wanted us to pay a guy for watching our shoes, and they took our camera ticket (which they weren't supposed to). When we got further down, a different guy asked for the camera ticket, and when we couldn't produce it, wanted us to pay for another. Bah!

Rahul Rishi said...

ha ha, I would say what happened to Mike was a scam, if it was it wouldnt have cost you 20 bucks only :) seems u having all kinda experience here