FACES OF TAJIKISTAN...the Cultural Divide


Advertisement
Published: December 9th 2017
Edit Blog Post

FACES OF TAJIKISTAN...the Cultural Divide.

I still shake my head in disbelief this could happen...but it did.

Then when it became known...and I made it clear to them that they had disgraced the whole group by doing so...the protagonists tried to change the facts and attempted to justify their appalling behaviour as if it was to help the local people to improve their lot.

But pigs fly and wind is wind.

And those that know what happened...know it happened...and no conniving or mis-truths changes that.

QED.



What a delight to travel with the Travel Camel again...our Mischief on the Mekong being entre...main course travelling from Dushanbe to the Afghan border...hugging cliff roads along the Panj River...daring us to dip our toes in so it could attempt to bite them off...then ascending into the High Pamir for dessert where the mountains and lakes were a palette for our artistic brush.

And what fun to travel with Dangerous Dave & Merry Jo again...Blues schmoozing in the Caribbean being our entre...Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan being main course and Armenia dessert.

Remote being Denise's and my quest...altiplano yet again being our altar...but where did we rest?


This is where Tajak homestays come into it...and they are the best.

Smiling faces of our new travel companions as we set off...some here and there complaining about accommodation...simple food...sketchy internet availability...electricity often only available at night by generator...OK...we may have different expectations or comfort levels...but who really cares?

Some are flexible travellers and some are not...some can enjoy whatever comes...some cannot.

But when attitudes of superiority lead to contempt...to disrespect...to accepting hospitality with the right hand...rejecting it with the left...in an air of disdain the 'Ugly Tourist' is born.

And ugly is ugly...truth is truth...and no wheedling or humbug can change that.

******




One hundred kms for chicken...that's 100kms each way folks!!!

We are in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan when a call came through that the three complainers (the Irish woman and the two Germans) had been up to their old tricks.

But as the story unfolds we move from horror to rage to disbelief...then back again.

The owners of their homestay in the village of Sary Mogol (aka Sary Moghul or Sary Mogul) reported the three had complained the rooms were dirty.

Then they
would not eat the meals prepared for them.

Some of the owners of the homestay were on the mountain that night...so we were able to get the full story in its grisly detail that I summarise as follows:

The homestay prepared a big evening meal...tasted by them then rejected.

Another meal prepared. They rejected that as well.

Then they insisted on chicken...but the homestay had no chicken.

So Kudash (their driver) drove around Sary Mogol looking for chicken...but could not find any (or at least not that anyone would part with).

So the homestay contacted the city of Osh, (Kyrgyzstan's second largest city)...about 218.3 kms away...found some...drove halfway to collect the chicken (that's 100kms folks)...which upon return (that's another 100kms)...was cooked for them.

But who drove the halfway from Osh and back? you ask.

The owners of the homestay complained they stayed up until midnight to satisfy the vicious three.

As a result the homestay owners contacted the tour company through which Shane had organised the trip and advised them that they were not prepared to deal with the tour company again "if they had those sort of people."

The
homestay also demanded the tour company reimburse them for all the dinners they had prepared that night.

I was told by another that the three "gloated" over their achievement in getting the homestay "to change the menu to provide a chicken dinner".

Denise asked on Facebook; "The chicken dinner...was that the chicken dinner that you made them travel 100km to obtain?"

The Irish woman replied:

"Ah ha. We will never forget the chicken dinner."

The German woman in response to the Irish woman's post wrote:

"Oh yes it was a lovely evening. We were lucky to take advantage that the husband of the lady was anyway in the city."



Is that an admission or what?!!!



******



But this is not just a story about 'ugly tourists' manipulating poor locals to provide a feast.

Of course there were repercussions.

The owner of the tour company was not amused...as you can expect he was hopping mad.

He was assured it was only three of our group that were causing the grief...the rest of our group (the Bulgarians, Americans & Australians) were "perfect."

But his business was threatened and economic decisions
had to be made...the tour company and the owners of the homestay (who also owned other sites) had to compromise.

And we heard that they did...looking for scapegoats such as our guide...(he wasn't there but how could he let this happen?)...no longer prepared to put their complaints in writing...anything to put this unpleasant incident to bed.

And as we headed to Osh for our farewell dinner with the vicious three...I for one was filled with dread.

******




Where do we sit in these circumstances?

Initially we were united we would not sit at the same table with them for the farewell dinner some days hence.

"But what about Shane? We cannot force him to choose between us."

"This is his tour.We can't do that to Shane."

And so the rest of our group reluctantly agreed...for Shane's sake we would suck it up and sit with them...for Shane's sake.

But one of our group was wavering...saying "I couldn't live with myself by making my presence appear to condone their actions...I refuse to sit at the same table."

Head down...determined...

no 'suck it up sweetheart pleas' would break his resolve.



"I cannot appear to condone" he was
saying...stubborn...obdurate...obstinate in his refusal to move.

.Yep...you guessed it...that person was me.

******




Farewells and the farewell dinner

Enter Kyrgyzstan...sweet tales I'll tell later.

Days pass...enter Osh...a city of cars...buildings and more cars...to our hotel...a shower...dreaming of the Pamir where I'd rather be.

The Bulgarian men who had arrived in Osh before us whisk us away to a restaurant with its own brewery for a lunch so sumptuous and enjoyable that we talked 'twas grand enough to be our last meal together.

A meal where we laughed...chatted...ate to overfill...connected as true friends do.

And the only ones missing were the complaining three.

But all good things come to an end...and the farewell dinner with the three had to take place...after all it was on the itinerary.

And when the hour came I walked down the hotel stairs into the vestibule...the last to arrive...the Irish woman gushing "Here comes David"...me walking past them without acknowledgement or a nod...body tight...biting my lip.

But she would not let me pass that easily...coming after me..."Hello David...Hello David"...forcing out my reluctant "Hello."

Enter the restaurant...absolute relief...two tables...they at one...the Bulgarian
men and the Kool Kids declining to sit with them.

We leave at the end of the night...the others nodding with short goodbyes to them as they file out.

Then it was my turn...eyes forward...walk past...the Irish woman calling..."Goodbye David" over and over...demanding response.

I had agreed I would say nothing to them as my compromise to the group...but a leprechaun tapped me on my shoulder...so I turned...eyeballed the three...and said:

"You have brought disgrace to the whole of our group. ****** may lose their contract because of your behaviour"...and walked out.

The Irish woman complaining something...the German woman shrilling something...the German's booming voice screaming "You are the rudest man I have ever met" as I disappear into the Kyrgyz night.

A peace descends over me...someone had to say something...I wanted to but did not intend to.

But she forced me as it turned out...glad she did...'twas short and sweet...someone had to say their behaviour was not acceptable.

And that someone...ended up being me.

******



Pigs in the parlour and Romantic poverty types

There is nothing like an Irish woman scorned they say.

As a result
of my comment the Irish woman commenced a tirade on Facebook to justify the chicken dinner as her attempt to develop tourism...to help them lift their game so to speak...to overcome the food..."the blandness of Tajikistan" as she called it.

She also boasted she "took it upon myself to be a self-appointed interior consultant" to improve the quality of the Sary Mogul homestay...and how appreciative they were for her doing so.

"Ah the fun...the joy...and the tremendous feedback of happy people impacted by our visit to Sary Mogul" she crowed.

A hero she conveys to her friends in the ether no doubt...or is that a narcissist calling out?

But she was only helping the locals improve their lot I hear a solitary voice say.

I guess that's why she posted on Facebook:

".....and we had a few romantic poverty types with us>>nightmare. I caused a bit of upset..."

"What is a 'romantic poverty type?' a friend of hers enquires.

"The ones looking for the "pigs in the parlour" and those who feel progress for the people ruins the culture and feel of the place," she posted.

******



In
Irish vernacular a parlour is usually the nicest room in the house and traditionally was where one would entertain special guests.

When referring to "a pig in the parlour" I understand one is usually speaking of someone that is more at home in a pig pen than in the parlour.



*******




Questions for your reflection and consideration:

From the issues raised in this blog the following questions arise:



As travellers or visitors in a foreign country staying in homestays:-

Q1. Is it appropriate that we express an opinion to our hosts that the accommodation or food they provide is not good enough?

Q2. Does your answer vary if they are poor people sharing what little they have to the best of their ability?

Q3. Should we graciously accept their hospitality without criticism?

Q4. Or should we encourage them to improve the food and accommodation they offer so they can progress in the World?

Q5. If we simply accept what they offer with only a thank you and a smile, are we by inaction impeding their progress in the World?

Q6. Or is
it simply none of our business to interfere in how they provide hospitality or choose to live their lives?

Feel free to proffer your opinion.



Oh...before I forget...the oft raised subject of tipping.

Shane suggested each of us tip US$50 to our respective driver and also to our guide.

Those in the Dancing Car believed Mr Zee and Sherali deserved more than that and tipped accordingly.

I have no doubt the Bulgarians in the silver car tipped appropriately (to Jengish & Sherali)

The complaining three in the red car asked, "Why should we tip them anything ( to Kudash & Sherali)? What have they done for us?"

Q7. What are your thoughts on tipping?



Tajikistan and me

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was the home of the Sogdians...one of the great cultures of the ancient Silk Road...controlling the road from China to Samarkand, the jewel of Central Asia.

Tajikistan has a rich culture born in antiquity.

The Russians kindly created their own borders in the 20th Century to separate Uzbeks from Tajik and Tajik from Kygryz and the Yagnobi had to fend for themselves.

Tajikistan remains
a small mountainous country having gained independence from the Soviet block in 1991...then fell into civil war until 1997 with the loss of about 50,000 lives.

Economic and humanitarian aid are urgently needed to repair the ravages of the past. Tourism will help but I believe this must be pursued on their terms not ours.

As we travelled through Tajikistan we met friendly, generous and proud people whose hospitality was such that even if they were poor...they would prefer to share what little they had even if it meant they go without.

The scenery is stunning as my blogs attest.

But the spirit of Tajikistan is in its people...that inhabit the cities, villages, mountains, plateaus, valleys and altiplano...that welcomed us at every bend.

Now let their faces tell their own stories...and great stories inhabit their every crease, wrinkle or smile



Relax & Enjoy,

Dancing Dave


Additional photos below
Photos: 126, Displayed: 31


Advertisement



9th December 2017

Faces of Tajikistan
Hey Dave, answering to some of your question, I would say that is always positive to accept what hosts offer you especially in such countries where people have different traditions and cultures. It happened to me as well to experience that and I appreciate more if that kindness has been given to me by some poor people, because I know they are giving the best that can have. I think it would be boring if the whole world became all the same. I instead appreciate these differences and it is fair they can conserve them otherwise there would not be a point to visit certain places if they changed their habits. Great photos as always Dave, keep well Bye
9th December 2017

Faces of Tajikistan
Thank you for your considered comments Marcos. We met other Italians on the trip who had returned because they loved the Pamir so much. Hope you fulfil your dream to get there yourself.
9th December 2017

You are right, they were wrong
It is as simple as that. The reactions of the locals tells all. Were they happy with the way they were treated by said trio? No! Did they feel enlightened by them? No! For me it is a classic tale of the 'superior' white European bringing so called civilisation to the uncivilsed barbarians, it's not only rude, it's racist. It is so wrong in so many ways. When I read your blog I could hardly believe it. My mind kept wondering, do people like this really exist? But I know they do, you read about them all the time. I'm not sure what I would have done in your situation. I don't know if I would have been as nice as you were, and I think you were pretty nice. Hope Shane came out of this unscathed...
9th December 2017

You are right, they were wrong
You Dutch are great travellers Ralf and the Dutch I know are direct speakers. I guess you have seen more than most. I appreciate you understand why I did what I did and why I felt compelled to write a blog about what they did. Thank you for your comments.
9th December 2017

Boiling
Their behaviour make my blood boil my dancing friend. If I had been present I would have joined you in your peaceful protest against them. As for your questions: Q1: Within reason, I try to never complain myself but I might inquire if there might be something that might make the stay better for me. Q2: Yes, I would never critique when someone tries their best to give me a good experience. Q3: Yes, when it's clear that they are giving it their all there is no validity to criticism. Q4: You might give tips and hints in a good mannered and friendly way, but doing so from a condescending viewpoint is terrible. Q5: No, I don't think so, in time the world will equalise on it's own accord and just being their supporting the local economy without a judgemental tone is enough. Q6: Not really our business as long as they treat us well. Q7: I generally don't like tipping, or rather I don't think about it since it doesn't exist in Sweden. But if I have a great experience and I think it was to cheap considering what was given then I don't mind tacking on a bit of my own free will.
9th December 2017

Boiling
While my words are restrained Per-Olof I see you can empathise with the issues therein. Thank you for your comments to each of the questions. Much appreciate your considered and clear response. I'll treat yours as a Swedish response.
9th December 2017

Courtesy knows no boundaries
You were probably nicer to these complainers than I would have been. I think the only reasons to decline someone's - anyone's - hospitality is if it violated your religious or moral restrictions, or if you truly thought it might be dangerous. I see nothing untoward with an orthodox Jew or faithful Muslim declining to eat pork, and giving an explanation that it is not that the food isn't good enough, just that their religions forbids it. I would decline to eat food that was rancid, even if considered a delicacy like Icelandic fermented shark. Again, I would NEVER demand to be fed something else, just a polite excuse why I couldn't eat what was on offer. That's just good manners, no matter where you are. As far as tipping, I hate tipping. I never know what the customary rate is, and I am always afraid I give too little or too much. I would much prefer that people be paid a good wage so that their livelihood is not dependent on the cheapskates and clueless.
9th December 2017

Courtesy knows no boundaries
Thank you for your comments Karen. You raise some interesting points that should be considered if cultural or religious factors apply. Your comments on tipping are fair however, from my Life ain't easy in the Pamir blog, it is easy to see why we felt it appropriate to tip more generously than what was recommended, You will be pleased your fellows Americans were regarded by the locals as "perfect"!!!
9th December 2017

Amazing Faces
Great blog and pictures again Dave! Such beauty is in the human face. Good on you for calling out the three complaining faces though! Some folks are born into the world crying, live their life complaining and then die disappointed - unfortunate for them I would say. I am so pleased you have had fun writing your blogs of this truly outstanding part of the world. I trust your upcoming adventures will continue to take you to the lesser-visited spots... Keep dancing. Dave.
10th December 2017

Amazing Faces
A Canadian response, thank you Dave. I might pin your gem on the fridge...what a cracker "Some folks are born into the world crying, live their life complaining and then die disappointed." As one who has joined the ride from the start, you may have noticed my titbits about attitude in my earlier blogs were all leading to this. Such a shame they had to flavour the trip at all. I find we are not remembered by the locals by name when we travel but by our nationality. It is therefore incumbent in my mind that we travel with respect as we are ambassadors of our countries in some respect. Thanks for your comments.
10th December 2017

The good, the bad.....and the ugly
Dancing One....I have been waiting for this blog since we left that magical place. Using what I consider to be great restraint (knowing you as I do) most likely forced you to summon up amazing literary patience while penning this blog. But enough of that.....your "Faces" blogs are always enjoyable as they capture the essence of the locals....and of course, their smiles. Thank you for your last photo........Dangerous Dave
10th December 2017

The good, the bad.....and the ugly
Thanks Dave for your support. You know it happened...we all know it happened...they even boasted to Shane (to his horror) that it happened. Shane showed amazing leadership to encourage the three to leave the trip at Kara Kul as he felt they destabilised the group. It was his idea to do so and he achieved it so they thought he was doing them a favour. The Kool Kids arose as testament to the benefit, Yet the repercussions of the 100 kms for the chicken dinner (and 100 kms return) tested his leadership to unchartered waters, It is my hope he has assured the tour company that he accepts it has happened, is appalled it has happened and will ensure on any of his tours that nothing like that can ever happen again, I feel that if he can or has shown such empathy to the locals, these events can be turned into positives and strengthen his leadership in their eyes for the future. Thanks to MJ and yourself for joining us on this ride. It's been a blast.
10th December 2017

Portraits. Of Humanity
Wonderful faces Dave. I have really enjoyed a few hours on this winters evening reading your blogs for this amazing trip... You have a certain style which lends itself to binge blog reading !!! it’s been like going through a whole box set !! Feeling like I was along with you guys ..I was horrified by the “obnoxiuos ones “ final disgusting escapade. chickens !!! I would have wrung their necks !! I had already read MJ and Dave’s blog so it was very interesting to get your take on it. I have been offering hospitality / Home exchange in my home for many years and usually make lifelong friends but a couple of years ago had a horrible experience when another one of the obnoxious tribe turned on me with an outburst similar to the one you had with your German guy. This pair skulked out of my home at 6 am the following morning without a word after a week where they had stayed for free, I had fed them and drove them round the local sights !! As we say up North “there’s nowt so queer as folk “ . As to your questions .. be kind and generous to anyone offering to share their home and culture , and for tipping I would always take the advice of the local company .. we tipped our guide in Cambodia as he was excelent and went out of his way to look after us .but had a few issues in Vietnam so we chose not to tip , gave feedback about the issues and donated what we would have given to a local charity . GenerAlly people working inthe leisure industry even here in the UK have low wages and as much as we would like things to be fair ..they are not so I would tip. So thanks Dave for the time and effort which has made it possible for us to travel along the road with you. Lynne
10th December 2017

Portraits. Of Humanity
Thank you for your comments Lynne. Warms the heart that my determination to shine a light in dark corners strikes a chord with my friends in the ether. Thanks to Travelblog we can share our joys, meanderings and upsets with like minded souls. As you have now read all of my Tajikistan blogs in one sitting you can feel the vibe of a trip that was truly magnificent. But you can also appreciate that this last blog is the one I had to write. My only previous Ugly Tourist blog is my Faces of Ethiopia. However this Faces of Tajikistan blog was personal. I stuck my neck out and I am pleased I did. I feel so strongly that the manipulative behaviour of the vicious three cannot simply be swept under the rug as if it did not happen. I hope Shane has made it clear to the tour company that he accepts and is appalled by what happened and assures them that on his watch he will ensure it does not happen again. How sad in your generosity with homestays that you met a couple that ripped you off by leaving without a thank you. But where there is darkness there is light. I am determined my last blog of this trip will be uplifting and victorious. Watch this space!
10th December 2017

Wind is wind and it was howling in the Stans....
I smiled and laughed at your bravery as I read your blog. Thank you for sharing the ugly truth. You know I didn't love all those cliff side roads on the Panj River but I made it the best I could. It was interested to see the story change as they were called out on bad behavior and realized not all thought what they did was funny or appropriate. Tipping details were provided to us in the pre-trip details....they should have given far more than the expected as they were so inappropriate. Love the faces of Tajikistan. MJ
11th December 2017

Wind is wind and it was howling in the Stans....
It sure was MJ...and pigs fly in the Pamir...at least they did until we shot them down. One of the great roadtrips of the World...so different to what I imagined it would be like. Gotta say Denise and I expected it would be much tougher and considerably less comfortable. To us it was a breeze which made the complainers so difficult to empathise with. And then there was Dangerous Dave & you Merry Jo...a kinship and connection that is very special. Thank you for being you and flying in formation with us. The Dancing Car had the coolest groove...and only we know how hard we rocked.
11th December 2017

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”…
I used to wonder how/when karma would get nasty people, but I've come to realise that living with themselves IS their karma ;) Looks like those three have narcissism levels that would make tyrants blush, with a healthy dose of post-colonial superiority thrown in for good measure. I really really wish the homestay folk had told them to shove it, and sent them to bed with no dinner! But it's a testament to their hospitality that they wanted to please their guests. I'm so glad that you took a stand and said something, I firmly believe that we have a moral duty to call out bullies... which is why I think Desmond Tutu’s quote is spot on. Regarding tipping, I despise it when it's forced upon us rather than it being reserved as a bonus for good service/added value. But acknowledging that a reasonable minimum pay isn't universal, tipping takes on a different meaning when we travel
11th December 2017

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”…
I am somewhat relieved that my blog has received such support Ren. When we were out in the wild I felt I was sticking my neck out...but my sentiments in the blog were very real and I was torn between not rocking the boat and overwhelming conscience that I could not live with myself if I remained silent. Yet the speeches that ran through my head were lost and the simple words I said just came out unprepared. Yet it had to be short and sweet to have maximum effect and the right words tumbled out as it turned out. Thank you for your comments. You get it and I appreciate that.
11th December 2017

The other comments reflect my views...
so no need to repeat here. I'm glad you said something to them. I loved your return to lovely portraits. Although the scenery was out of this world, it's the people who scratch out a bare subsistence in this environment who you gave us a view of their joy with life. I hope they meet all the best tourists from now on.
11th December 2017

The other comments reflect my views...
Nice to hear from you Bob. Kind of expected a Colorado cannonball from you but I guess the others have fired some shrapnel for you. Ah the faces. The people from Tajikistan had character leaping out of their pores. Lots of portraits...but I can connect with all of them. One last blog to end the trip. I'll think of our time in the snow when I write this one.
11th December 2017
Chabysh Horse Festival

Tajikistan
Such happy and kind people
11th December 2017
Chabysh Horse Festival

Tajikistan
Great people MJ...so happy and kind. How lucky were we to have been able to receive their hospitality...honoured in my opinion.
11th December 2017

Shameless
It's so sad to hear what those women did and sad to hear that the locals were to subservient to say no. Q1. Depends on how much I'm paying. There are homestays that are obvious rip-offs Q2. Yes definitely Q3. A little constructive criticism can help but has to be said with kindness Q4. Yes because they are in the hospitality business Q5. Yes. We all need feedback to grow Q6. How they provide hospitality since you're paying you should have a say. A very diplomatic one. On how they live their lives, no. Q7. If it's acceptable in their culture then I'm happy to tip. However, tipping culture in the States is messed up. I prefer how we do it here in the Philippines where it's included in the bill and if you're happy then you can give more. That way I never feel like I'm cheating on anyone.
11th December 2017

Shameless
Thanks for your replies to all the questions Harold. A gold star is heading your way. Shameless so true. The hardest thing was seeing the faces of our hosts when being told their hospitality was not good enough by the three and the best was their faces when they received our thanks and appreciation. Faces I present so often show good character...and that is why there are no names or portraits of the vicious three in my blogs. Keep smiling Harold.
13th December 2017

Words fail me
World fail me, the sort of behaviour you called out, and quite rightly, is indicative of the worst racist and ignorant views people can hold. None of us should 'let it go', because (who said this?), all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent. Those people were not 'developing' anything except their own egos and their attitudes to their hosts were contemptible.
13th December 2017

Words fail me
You are so right when you say "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent." Another gem for the fridge, Jools. Yet I was the only one who said anything as it turned out...everyone else so concerned of any backlash from the vicious three on Shane that if not for me no one would have called them out for their abominable behaviour. Thanks for your support and for your comments. Much appreciated.
13th December 2017

Wow.
To behave like that is one thing, but to feel they were justified because they were ‘helping’ is beyond words. Why do people like that choose to go on trips like this I wonder? Is it a white saviour complex? Glad the rest of you had fun and hope Shane isn’t put off organising such a trip again.
13th December 2017

Wow.
You raise some very interesting points Kris & Kate. I personally do not accept there was any motivation to help the locals at all as the behaviour in getting extra benefits at meals when we were present was always done by the Irish woman only and with over the top charm and triumph each time. The Germans were there to make videos for internet presentation. The one thing the three had in common was they had superior attitudes and they were constant complainers. A psychological assessment of the motivation in getting locals to travel 100 kms and back for a chicken dinner is otherwise beyond my professional speciality. My best guess is in my blog. Thanks for your comments. I'll take yours as coming from England and the Ukraine.
21st December 2017
Chabysh Horse Festival

My fav
This is my favourite /Ake
22nd December 2017
Chabysh Horse Festival

My fav
Nice choice Ake. I have a lot of favourite portraits in this blog. I'll take your non-comment on this culminating story as a deafening silence...presumably in disbelief this could happen. But that's of course presumptive of me. Thanks for checking in.
9th September 2018

you were right and love the portraits
We wonder why people such as the ones you described actually travel - they don't appreciate that there are cultural differences and that is what makes those of us that love to travel enjoy and learn from. We are always so impressed with those that have less are usually the ones that are more than willing to try to please. It is travelers like the 3 that you described confirm for some the term "ugly tourists'". It is a shame that these have no understanding of the repercussions of what they say and do. It is the same as the saying "a few rotten apples can spoil the whole bushel basket" - sure hope that things worked out with the tour company in the end as it would be a shame for other travelers to miss these wonderful opportunities that you had. As for tipping - we tip to thank people for the efforts that they obviously put forth for us as travelers - the hardest part is to figure what to give as a tip as you also do not want it to be so far out of balance that it can actually cause a problem for others with setting a standard that is too far out of line, but also want to have it enough to make the person know how much we appreciate what they have done. How do you try to figure out the amount to tip? It seems to be one of our biggest challenges as we travel from country to country. As early as we can we try to get some recommendations from local people that we meet and can discuss an issue such as this, but that is not always possible. Again, thanks for your discussion on this, you definitely were right to say something to them in hopes that in some way they can reflect and learn - at least that is the hope. Your portraits are fabulous
10th September 2018

you were right and love the portraits
Ah...the memories. What an absolutely stunning part of planet Earth. The High Pamir is out of this World. I still shake my head in disbelief the three could take advantage of their hosts in such a way then crow about it. Our memories are of the High Pamir with its stunning vistas and incredibly generous people, Thanks for reading and commenting. My other "Ugly Tourists" blog is my Faces of Ethiopia...disturbing but true!

Tot: 0.396s; Tpl: 0.088s; cc: 21; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0283s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb