And then you have the opposite of the walking tour.
Today we took an auto-rickshaw to Golconda Fort, the sprawling ruins of a huge 16th century citadel in the middle of Hyderabad.
Because it’s handy to have a small guide book with a map, I bought one that may or may not have been photo-copied from a lovely old man who pestered me endlessly when we came through the entrance. I did refuse the postcards – really, I have no need for postcards.
“How useful will that be?” Don asked me.
“It’s as useful as 50 rupee,” I answered. “it’ll be handy to have a small guide book with a map.”
“For example,” I went on as we approached a long building with huge archways, “this is where they kept the elephants.”
“Does it say that in the booklet?”
“No, it doesn’t say anything about elephants in the booklet.”
“Is it on the map?”
“Yes, I think it’s building number 22.”
“So what does it say about building number 22?”
“I don’t know, there’s no corresponding legend for the map.”
“Then how do you know it’s where they kept the elephants?”
“I know this from experience and my extensive knowledge of ancient Indian architecture.”
I flipped through the booklet some more.
“Oh, wait, there’s something in here about the royal camel stables.”
“Well are they building 22?”
“There is no way of knowing this. However here’s something interesting,” I continued, “apparently there’s a mosque within the fort grounds.”
“Is it that one?” Don asked, pointing to a bright white mosque right in front of us.
“There’s no way of knowing this, but I suggest yes.”
“Well I suggest you put the booklet away and we just walk around and read the signs.”
“Fair enough,” I said, tucking the guide into my bag. “So do you think we got our 50 rupees’ worth?”
“I think you would have been better off with the postcards.”