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01/16/2017

Helen's pearl 2

india,demonetisation,robin hood,modi,prime ministerA few weeks ago, Modi, the Prime Minister, was a God for our nanny. The communication campaign which aimed at ‘making demonetization a feat’ and presenting him as a ‘Robin Hood of modern times who takes black money from the rich to redistribute to the poor’ had worked.

And here she comes back from holidays, completely upset with him! Apparently she couldn’t digest his new year speech. Rather than giving quantified results of his coup and details on the exit of the tunnel for cashless people, he talked about the 6,000 rupees that every pregnant woman should receive – which is actually the case since 2013 but there are some small hiccups in implementing this. “All these women are going to make babies and leave them in the street to get their 6,000 rupees! Why doesn’t he speak about job instead?”

My nanny is a Chinese wise woman who wants the fishing rod and not the fish!

“And then he promised housing for everyone and the only things that are built are in villages where nobody wants to go. No. Really we need to fire him!”

01/09/2017

Tourist in India and cash situation / demonetisation

India,tourist,tourism,cash,demonetisation,rupees,new notesSeveral people have asked my opinion on how to travel in India right now because of the currency situation, here is my humble advice: come with patience!

If you have booked with a tour operator or directly from not-too-bad-hotels, you can pay by card and keep your small change (which is worth gold) to buy a bottle of water, a chai, a rickshaw fare etc.

But since it is still handy to have some cash with you (especially in India), here are some ideas to get rupees:

1. Exchange:

Legally, foreigners are allowed to exchange only 5,000 rupees a week – which is enough pocket money if you pay for lodging, transport (bus/plane/train) and beers by card. Technically, no one can check how much you exchange per week unless you go to the exchange bureau of a chain.

2. ATM:

The other possibility is to withdraw in an ATM, within the limits of 2,500 rupees a day (although apparently the limit has been increased to 4,500). The exercise here is to identify the ATMs that have the cash. The following site can help locating them: https://cashnocash.quikr.com/ 

3. Bank counter:

There is the option to go directly to the counter at the bank. Here again you must find the Bank that has cahs and it’s not easy easy. Then wait in line. And with a little luck you can withdraw 24,000 rupees (per week, wherever you withdraw, at the counter or the ATM).

4. Indian SIM and apps:

Finally you can take an Indian SIM that will last 3 months. It is not always the easiest experience, but it does get you into the swing... (Apparently in September the Government agreed that all the tourists with an e-visa will automatically receive a SIM card but I can't seem to find out whether it has actually been implemented). You need to come ready with a photocopy of the passport, your visa and a photo. Plan to activate a card with roaming (if you change State) and data to have wifi. And if you get that far and you have previously downloaded the app PAYTM (and recharged your account) you should be able to make a lot of payments with your phone! Uber or Ola app can also be useful.

Good luck!

01/02/2017

Delhi fauna

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