You may have seen photos of foreign delegates diligently looking at their notepads at the biodiversity conference or at best, buying a few things at Shilparamam or appreciating the wonder that is Charminar.
However, a good number of them are also making best use of their free time by letting their hair down at the city pubs.
Quite a few pubs are glad but a few others are not as happy.
Why? The traffic police are playing spoilsport! Roughly 8,000 delegates are in the city for the 19-day conference which is supposed to end by Friday evening (the talks are dragging on when reports last came in).
Some might dispute that, feeding on info supplied by NGOs.
Be that as it may.
The fact is foreign delegates are being referred to as “pub hoppers” by several pubs. Every evening, groups and groups of them are hopping from one pub to the other, say the managements visibly happy with the brisk business.
Manager of the Kismat Pub at The Park Jaydeep Das says, “There has been an increase in the foreign footfall. I have my fair share due to our own efforts.
” Similarly Antony Lawrence, manager, 10 Downing Street, explains, “Around 20-30 people come to us everyday.
Since we have a tie-up with the British Airways, whoever travels by the airways will know about us and will definitely come to us.
” Further he adds, “The delegates are very friendly. They like to sing and participate in Karaoke. We have different themes like retro, club, karaoke etc every day. They like all sorts of music but are particular only about food.
” According to him, delegates from different parts of the world prefer different kinds of food and different brands of drinks but mainly vodka and beer. These lucky ones are in the heart of the city and are chain pubs and properties.
Explaining the other side of the coin, Karthik, general manager at Shamrock Irish Bar in Hitec city, says, “CoP has definitely done good for the hotel industry in the city but standalone bars like ours have been badly affected. In fact, CoP has reduced our business!” Karthik attributes the poor business of his outlet to the severe police restrictions and traffic diversions in place in the Hitec city area for the last three weeks. “We used to have our customers coming in by 5.30 in the evening.
But due to traffic diversions and restrictions around Hitec city, people are coming in only after 8.30 p.m everyday,” fumed Karthik hoping that his bar’s regular business with IT and corporate crowd would pick up once the conference concludes.
Maniprasad, manager, Bottles and Chimney, offers a different take.
“There are CoP delegates, from Europeans to Asians and Africans who come to us in groups of 10-15 or sometimes, just a couple, but mostly between Thursday and Sunday.
Though most of those who come to us are young people below 35 years of age, we have not seen any party animals.
The delegates are so professional, well-behaved and wellmannered.
“They interact with us and the public alike and share their kind of drinks and food with us whereas we always handle foreigners with skilled professionals,” he says refusing to admit that the conference has increased his business. He shared a few funny experiences too.
There have been times, he reveals, when these delegates who mostly make payments using international credit cards did not have enough Indian rupees in hand! “Currency exchange in rare cases is not a problem with us. With permission from senior management, we had charged them in foreign currency, for those who wanted to pay in cash,” he says.
Further, he points out that some of the delegates had asked for local brands of their countries. “We keep only major moving brands as that is what we can procure from APBCL. But they are not very demanding but very much ready to experiment,” Mani chuckles.
He has every reason to be. But Karthik is waiting for the firangs to go and with them, the Khakis.