21 Feb 17

On India, from a friend there:

“Some of the most gentle, kind, generous people I’ve ever met live in India. But even at their best, the country is still barely developed. Appalling poverty everywhere. Trash, and raw sewage are rampant. I don’t recommend going there.

As in China, air quality is very poor! ‘Sacred’ cows wander aimlessly, feeding on ecumenical piles of rubbish.

At security checkpoints, police are looking mostly for Pakistanis. As Westerners, they never display any interest in us.

And, security checkpoints and metal detectors are everywhere! Every hotel has a magnetometer, or a doorman with a wand, at every entrance. However, in most cases I am just waved through, despite the fact that the magnetometer alarms. They care mostly about appearance and nationality, as noted above. When you don’t fit their ‘profile,’ they just wave you through. I carry several blades, and a flashlight, through these checkpoints routinely, and no one cares!

Most ‘security guards’ are unarmed. Of those few who are ‘armed,’ only one in three has a magazine inserted into his Kalashnikov or MP5. No modern optics/red-dots. Iron sights only.

Make friends with taxi-drivers and security guards at your hotel. They will function as a valuable interface between you and local cops, or thugs

Carry a serious tactical flashlight! As in most places they are unregulated, but often come in handy as a non-lethal weapon!

One evening, while returning to my hotel from the local ATM after dark, I heard someone behind me yelling, ‘Hello, my friend!’ I didn’t look back, but increased my pace. When I heard hurried footsteps behind me, I spun around and blasted the guy in the face with 700 lumens from my First Light T-Max, as I shouted, ‘That’s close enough!’

The man was startled, blinded, and instantly disoriented . He stumbled backward and put his hands in the air. It was then that I realized it was my taxi driver! We both had a good laugh, and he apologized for surprising me. No one was hurt, but my light performed as advertised.

Since the Mumbai Attack of 2011, the nation has instituted their version of ‘security theater,’ (more like ‘security comedy’) and it does not inspire much confidence, as noted. No more confidence than it inspires most other places!”

Comment: Once more, much risk attaches to off-shore travel these days, combined with few benefits!

Governments and other institutions (here and there) perfunctorily “go through the motions” of increased security, but you’re still on your own. Never expect anyone to “care about you” more than you care about yourself!