Saturday, November 13, 2010

Only Fifty Pounds


First he walks up and greets you politely as you are about to take your son's picture. Pulling a faux Arab headscarf from his pocket, he wraps it on your son's head and tells you how much better the picture will be with it. You smile, bewildered a bit but also a little touched by his interest. Then he takes his scarf from around his neck, wraps your head with it, and offers to take a picture of the two of you. You smile and nod. Picture taken, he then asks for 50 pounds for the scarves and photography services. Hmm. How exactly did that happen?

12 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Hmmm, you have to watch out for those "friendly" types at touristy places!

Jack said...

Ah, yes. It is impossible to escape the hustlers in Egypt.

GretchenJoanna said...

Is ten pounds what you think he should get paid, when he asked for 50? And what DO people do when this happens?

Anonymous said...

"ten Dollars" = 50-Pounds.

It happened because they allowed it to happen.

The vendors will come by and unless you have cash that is burning holes in your pocket, you say Shokran and walk away (or tell him to walk away).

Egyptian Okie

David L Macaulay said...

That's funny - I recognize these type of characters from my time in Egypt

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

My bad here. The title should have been "Only 50 Pounds". I avoid these situations by saying "La Shukran. Anna aisha henna" which means "No thank you, I live here." That usually gets rid of these guys VERY quickly. There is no guaranteed way to avoid this but saying no thank you firmly usually does the trick.

These guys are very charming and good at weaseling into situations. One friend of mine took a photo of a particularly obnoxious one and when he was asked for money for the photo, told the guy to relax....he was going over to the tourist police to show it to him. The guy was gone like a shot!

Shammickite said...

A familiar experience.

Caroline said...

They can be quite scary too! Best just say no thanks to everything! Being polite is tantamount to being weak!

melocoton said...

yep, tourist traps. greetings from barcelona.

www.kamjey.com

Merri said...

Hassling Tourist Pest or Enterprising Entrepreneur?
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

I'm sure that he sees it as the latter!

Anonymous said...

Smart way to make a living,