Here are some excellent “Life hacks” for India from Reddit.
- Pretend to talk on your phone when taking an auto/cab late night and casually mention that you are travelling in a cab and going by so-and-so route. This could save your life.
- Pretend to talk loudly on phone when around stray dogs.
- If you insist that you are carrying a laptop/valuables/passport in your bag, the security guards at shops will let you carry your bag inside shops.
- When in doubt about hygiene at a roadside restaurant/dhaba, stick to “yellow daal” and tandoori roti. Safest choice.
- Be extra nice to people like security guards, hotel staff, chauffeurs, waiters etc. You’ll be surprised how much they can help in return (specially because in India no one treats them well).
- For places with lots of mosquitoes, nothing works better than Odomos ointment. As a substitute, you can also use Vicks/Amrutanjan/tiger balm. The electronic repellants don’t work so well.
- If you can help it, do not book a flight very late in the night. Flights generally get delayed by a couple of hours.
- The sooner you check-in, the later your baggage arrives on the carrousel.
- Learn to say “Sorry, I don’t know X language” in the language of the city you are moving in.
- Keep a half an hour margin for all appointments.
#2 (Link)[pull_quote align=’right’] My version: If some desi guy comes over to you in a Barnes & Noble bookshop in US and tries to talk to you nicely, then either is a Gay or from Amway! [/pull_quote]
If a random guy ,who looks decent and educated, comes over to have a chat with you in a public place , stay away from them for they are the ‘amway slaves’ who would suck the life out of you by explaining how awesome the world would be if you buy amway products.
Tips for traveling in Mumbai local trains second class:
- Tie a handkerchief around your face and ears. Someone eventually will sneeze on your face. You want to be protected.
- If you are a newcomer, study how people get in and get out of local trains before you try to do it yourself.
- Always plan ahead. Know which side your platform is going to come on. Estimate how much distance you need to move ahead at each passing station so that you don’t remain stuck in the back.
- If you are in college, wear your bag on the front and keep your wallet in the front pocket
- If the overhead fan is not working, try using a comb to kickstart it
- If your day has been really shitty and you get into a crowded train…fart silently. No one will know it was you but the looks of people around you will make your day.
- Keep an eye for weeny fingers or legs protruding from sides of auto-rickshaws. They are turn indicators.
- If you are driving a bike and see any traffic policemen stopping bikes ahead of you to collect their
bribesworking capital, then pretend that your are lost, go to the first cop you see and ask for directions to a nearby area. In all probability that cop will show you the directions and let you walk away.
#5: This was the most hilarious!! (Link) – How to get the Factory near you stop creating pollution!
One of my neighborhood medium scale industry is releasing black smoke into colony (some issue with chimney nozzle) couple of weeks ago. About 50 residents nearby made a scene in front gate of the unit. No difference.
Next day me and couple of my friends (we are all 30+), flashed our work badges (nothing related to government) to the security and asked to speak to pollution control manager. We were all intentionally in ray-bans and dressed impeccably. Questions were in English and with authoritative tone. Security did not understand crap and assumed we are from pollution board. Three managers came immediately and took us to their conference room. Offered tea and all respect 🙂
We gave 3 days to clear up the smoke and walked out. Not one manager asked where we are from. Obviously with in 3 days, no smoke!
#6: How to get full compensation on your Insurance Claim! (Link)
If you ever have a Medical insurance claim, chances are that the reimbursement will be less than what it should be. A Common reason for disallowing part of the cost is that the cost is not at par with Market Rates – This is not a term in any mediclaim insurance policy.
Dont fight with anyone and dont cash the cheque, just make a copy of the full medical file, along with the letter you get with the cheque, and make a complaint to the ombidsman. Make sure it is sent by registered mail and keep proof of sending it with you. Chances are a hearing will be scheduled, and in the hearing I personally know four people who have gotten their claims paid in full after an initial attempt at payments between 50-75%. One person is still waiting, but he didnt send the file by registered post, just normal vichare courier.
#7: Getting an Auto in Mumbai (Link)
If an autowalla refuses to ply, or if you suspect something’s wrong with their meter, then try this: “My uncle Ganesh Patil* works in the RTO. I can call him right now and get your license revoked.” Then take a picture of their number plate for added effect. Has worked like a charm for me.
*you can make up your own Maharashtrian name.
#8: Cool Food and Eating tips (Link)
- If you buy vegetables in the market (not reliance fresh) – visit in the morning to get fresh ones
- If you are living cheap, visit in the evening (after 4 PM) to buy cheaper.
- Most of the servers in small restaurants don’t bathe in the mornings, so avoid breakfast. Get a bun / bread from nearby Bakery.
- While ordering food in a group when you are hungry, order quick to prepare appetizer first (I order vadaas) while you wait for main course.
- In the shop preparing banana / potato chips , you can buy powdered or shapeless chips for low cost compared to good shaped ones. Tastes same, not good to give to visiting relatives
- The in-store brand costs often very less compared to branded ones.
- While going to McDonalds, order no salt on fries – they prepare it fresh for you.
#9: Get Help in Hospital (Link)
My friend once had to get some stitches removed after a minor operation. Being new to Delhi, and being from rural Andhra, my friend was shunted around the hospital two days in a row when he went there. He couldn’t even find the doctor who was supposed to do it.
Third day, I went with him. I happened to be dressed in a black suit with a nice tie. I asked hospital folks for directions, and very promptly everyone assumed that I was a doctor! They were extremely polite and helpful. Once we were in the correct wing, the very first attendant/nurse I asked about the doctor’s whereabouts, escorted us straight to the said doctor’s chambers. The doctor attended to my friend immediately. All the time, I was firm and slightly-less-than-polite.
As soon as the thing was over, we got the hell out of there without talking to anyone. But I kept nodding to every staff member who wished me “good morning sir” etc. along the way. My friend and I had a good laugh about it later.
And then we were sad about this state of affairs. Mera Bharat Mahaan!
#10: Applying for Indian Passport (Link)
If you are applying for an Indian passport and you’re born after 26 Jan 1989, make sure you have your birth certificate pukka. Mine didn’t have my name on it (parents hadn’t chosen a name for me at the time of registration of my birth) and I had to arse myself for a year to get a new one with my name only after which I was able to apply for passport. I was in no hurry to get a passport, so wasn’t such a big deal for me but in cases of Tatkal applications, this’ll be a problem.
Photo Credit: 2ose
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