– but here’s an anecdote anyway, which I think somewhat bears out my theory that the begging culture here is supported by western tourists.
I was in a beach front restaurant yesterday where, by chance, I was the only such tourist sitting at the front, overlooking the beach.
In the 90 minutes that I was there, I was the focus of a variety of beggars – the elderly, the infirm, women holding babies – who all asked me for money and occasionally prodded me with a sharp, insistent finger – but who resolutely ignored the Indian customers (who, it must be said, also ignored them with notable consistency). I also noticed that we had no child performers while I was there – perhaps they took a look and decided it wasn’t worth their while given the demographics.
Proof of learned behaviour? I think so. Why waste your time with the people who you know won’t chuck a few rupees your way, when you can instead focus on the visitors who’ve been proven in the past to be a soft touch?