Tout, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
The backstory about the photo above…. I was wandering around the Temple of Karnak, minding my own business, taking photos and this man approached me:
Tout: Sir take my photo
Me: No thank you, I don’t pay for taking photographs of people (knowing that it was money he wanted)
Tout: Sir it’s okay, go ahead
Me: La Shokrkan (No Thank You). I told you, I don’t pay for pictures, I don’t want your photo
Tout: Sir please take photo
Me: takes his photo to get rid of him and get him out of the frame so I can continue on doing what I want to do
Tout: Sir, you pay baksheesh now….
Me: not likely, I told you the deal upfront.
This is Egypt, so one had better get used to dealing with touts and aggressive vendors.
Later on that evening in Luxor, back in the middle of town, my hunt was on for liquid refreshments of the fermented kind. I was wandering around the streets with the guise that I looking for something, which of course pulled the touts out in full force trying to “help” me.. I found one alcohol outlet in the market, and as I was just stepping up to the doorway of it, a young man accosted me saying that the establishment I was going into was expensive and sold at “tourist” prices, and that just down the alley was a better price..
So I decided to do some price comparisons. I asked the vendor at the place “I” had found how much? It was 18.5 LE for a large can of Stella Beer… then I followed the young guy down the alley to his recommended place, and again asked the price.. after looking me up and down the new vendor quoted me 20 LE for the exact same can of beer. Clearly this was a “special price just for me” based on the fact the young tout had brought me there, and it included his commission. Of course I walked back to the place I originally found and bought it at the fixed price, not the “whatever I can get away with price”.
The young guy was not deterred however, his new mission became to follow me around the market, and every time I wanted to buy something (like a snack, or juice), he would jump in and request a commission from each vendor for “bringing me there”, thereby driving up my price for everything. As soon as I figured out the game, I ditched this guy as soon as I could, but it took a lot of effort. I even pretended to exit one doorway while he went out the other to catch up to me, and then reversed my path to go out the exit he took while I was confused looking for me. Too much work and effort, I packed it in for the night.
The next day I upped the ante on my mission objective – namely find a restaurant that served alcohol directly. Sadly, the majority of restaurants I found in Luxor did NOT serve any booze (even the one at my hotel), but like a honeybadger on the scent of a beehive, I tracked down a restaurant that did serve beer with dinner just a few hundred feet from my room, and it had a great view of the market where one could imbibe, enjoy dinner, and simply watch the action going on down below… I was so close to my room I could even “almost” catch the WIFI signal from my hotel. Anyways, in case you find yourself in Luxor the name of the establishment is “Jamboree“.
Egypt Survival Phrases:
La Shokrkan (No Thank You)
Seeebney (leave me alone)
Men Elmareek (the proper response when asked where you are from i.e. “from the planet Mars”)