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Monday, March 04, 2019

History According to Bob - Vacation to Greece and Egypt (2019) (aka the joys of being swindled in the Third World)

Part 4:

[On the wonders of conmen in the Third World {Egypt}] "I said. I think we're going to go across and visit the Sphinx. He said, okay. He said, I will come with you. I will show you where the tickets are. And want to give you some advice. We tell this to everybody.

Do not talk to anybody… If you want to go somewhere, if you want to, you know, do something, let us know. We will go with you…

I was aware that they were going to be aggressive from selling you. Do you need a taxi? Do you want to buy this? But we've been to Turkey and the Turks are pretty aggressive. And Sherri had been to Jamaica and the Jamaicans can be pretty aggressive. So we thought, okay, we'll just walk out, we just simply say no, which in Arabic was la la. And, but we ended up saying no all the time. Because everybody spoke English. We thought we’ll be okay…

And then I made a mistake… there's a gentleman standing at the top of the steps and he comes down and he's got a lanyard on with a identification card. And he says, well, welcome to to Egypt. I'm a government, I'm been hired by the government to show people around. And you know, both Sherri and I realized that that was not what he was. He's simply another guide like individual. But neither one of us said no, and we continue talking with him. And he was a nice gentleman. Course he was, and he ended up guiding us around on several occasions. We tried to escape, I tell him, we were done, and we'll go back and it didn't work out…

The guidebook said that in all of Egypt, you would face no greater gauntlet of scam artists, toots and manipulation than at the site of the Great Pyramid. It said that the they tried to control it with undercover police and whatever. But for the most part, nobody's getting robbed, nobody gets a r-, you know, it's not that kind of crime. They just assume that you don't know what the prices are. And they're trying to be your friend and get as much money out of you as possible. And I had not read what it costs to do - camel rides and a variety of other things. So to some extent, part of our problem was I put the value of what we were doing based on what I would pay for it in the United States, when in reality, I was paying, oh, I don't know, 10 times, 20 times what it actually cost. And I'll tell you right up front, I paid $60 for Sherri and I each, that’s $120, for about an hour camel ride:

Part 5:

We met this gentleman who told us that he was a representative of the government and we got attached to him. And he was a really nice guy, he was excellent. He's probably one of the best scam artists if you want to call it that because you know in the end it didn't really cost us that much and we did a lot of stuff - we were just overcharged a little bit and we should have said no thank you early on or at least talked immediately about how much it was going to cost. Because if we had done that then we would have been left alone.

If we hadn't talked to him like our guy, our people at the hotel said, we wouldn't have had this happen… we never actually go into the Sphinx compound. I had a ticket for it but I think he thought if we went in with the ticket that would separate us because he couldn't go in with us. And then we would be free

Part 9:

[On Egypt] Sometimes when you're in a situation where they say no pictures, your guide knows that if you bribe... give a couple of bucks to the guard, they'll let you take non flash pictures

Part 10:

They try to engage you, that’s the whole idea. They want to know where you're from. Well, he told us that they think everybody from America is rich. So don't tell them you're American. They know the English have money. They know the French have money. And the Germans have money he said, but they don't think the Canadians have any money. So just tell them you're Canadian. Well, I didn't try that for a couple of days. But I did try it. And it worked.

Part 14:

I got almost to the temple... as I walk into the main area, another gentleman comes up and he says it's closed today because it's Friday. It's the Muslim holy day. But the market’s open, let me take you to the market. And I said, nice try. But I know it's open today. It's only closed two days out of the year. And then he kind of shrugged his shoulders.

Part 15:

They show all the different methods of counting victory. Piles of hands, piles of heads, piles of bodies, piles of penises. It's one of the few temples that actually has penises piled up and depicted because these are great victories
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