Taxi drivers, felucca drivers, horse and carriage drivers, shopkeepers… Everyone is trying to sell their goods or services to us. Constantly. This has led to some interesting encounters. Here are some favourites:
1. Walking through a souk:
“Come and spend your money here!”
2. When the five MILLIONTH man tries to offer us a ride in a horse and carriage as we’re walking along the Nile:
Driver: Do you know how much for a carriage ride?
Me (Kara): Yes. Five pounds.
Driver: …Oh. (And leaves)
3. Sam singing as we walk through a souk
Vendor: I recommend to you that you stop singing. You have a bad voice. (Prepares himself for a selling pitch)
Sam: Well I recommend that you go away.
4. WE FOUND A WAY TO GET RID OF PEOPLE HASSLING US!!
We were being hassled by kids pretending to be beggars at the Botanical Gardens in Aswan.
They couldn’t stop giggling, but kept following us and asking for money.
Eventually, I told them (in Arabic) that we weren’t tourists, so please leave us alone. So they did! Then they came back and actually had a chat. Turns out they were on a big family picnic while on their school holidays. Cheeky devils.
Other common attempts to attract our attention:
5. No hassle, no hassle!
6. Lucky man! How many camels? (Getting very old now)
7. Yes yes yes yes yes?
8. *Something incomprehensible in German, thinking we are German tourists*
9. Looking is free today! (as opposed to all the days you pay to walk in a store?)
10. Remember me? I work at your hotel!
11. (Bonus) Where you from? Australia? Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!
It gets pretty annoying, but you get used to relegating the hassle to background noise, and in the end, they are just doing their business.
That said, the best tip for having a conversation with a haggler, is don’t get roped in to a conversation with a haggler!