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Archive for December 26th, 2011

Where have all the tourists gone?

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Egypt is full of tourist traps, it is a “fact” widely circulated in guidebooks, online forums, and even the “scammers” themselves would caution you.

“Going to Pyramid? Bus station this way, come, I show you, sometimes no good people here waiting for tourists, I just want to help,” says a young chap as my sister and I exit the Giza metro station.

Yet our experiences in the last few days tell us, anyone who appears to be too eager to help have something up their sleeve; they are out to “detour” you, telling you the museum is closed for prayer, or the buses are not running on schedule, or the road ahead is blocked for demonstration, and out of good will, they want to show you the “right or safe” route, which ultimately would lead to their shops.

Well, no true harm comes out of these “detours”, except some delays and long talk to decline viewing or buying souvenirs, or sometimes, desperately refusing to accept “gifts” that are literally shoving down your pocket. But what do you expect? when you clearly look foreign, carrying a backpack, visiting touristy sites, with camera hanging down your neck, and you are just a piece of sweet meat, calling out to a swamp of ants to devour you.

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