How to deal with annoying touts

Filed in Egypt, Travel by on November 15, 2013 2 Comments

Where there are tourists, there are touts, offering all kinds of great deals, but only today, and only because they feel they have a special connection to YOU.

Most travellers have a pre-determined way to deal with these pesky touts ranging from witty t-shirts, ignoring them or in many cases, plain old abuse.

However, there is a much better way to deal with situations like this which is guaranteed not only to keep them at bay but also increase ten-fold the experiences on your trip.
Crack a smile, have a laugh, make a friend for life.

Egyptian shop keepers aim to make their living selling scarves; unfortunately the guy 2 metres down has the same idea. Again, hostility seems to be the way to way most think these young men should be met with when trying to earn their days bread. After making a short joke in response to Mohammads sale pitch, I learnt that he was the same age as me and told me hadn’t made a single sale in the last 5 days. The next evening, I returned to the market with a kilo of Egyptian sweets in hand. I had developed a bit of a sweet tooth since getting to Egypt and thought I may as well share with my new friend. Within minutes, I had all the local shopkeepers asking if they could have a small piece as a break from their 12+ hour days standing out in the market selling baubles.

I had made not only a friend but had opened the doors to being invited to Mohammads humble home where his mother cooked me a simple yet delicious meal, taken to train in a local gym with Mohammads friend (also Mohammad) and to top it all off, been allowed to attend a small wedding of his cousin held in a dark alley way between 2 buildings.

In another corner of the world, you are bound to be approached by all kinds of ‘annoying’ on the streets of Phuket, Thailand. Yet, in situations such as finding myself alone on New Years Eve due to a ‘friend’ realising his loyalties for the night lay with a massage therapist, I was able to call upon a friend working at a local restaurant and a local tailor to enjoy Sangsom (Thai whisky) filled nights out with a great Thai crowd and even being lucky enough to share in letting a Thai sky lantern float away into the night sky with a New Years wish

The price of this great hospitality from people seen as nothing more than pests? A kind attitude towards someone that is simply trying to make a living.

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I take GSXRs to inappropriate places
  • Anonymous

    This is great advice. I love getting to know locals and there’s nothing better than experiencing life in another country by becoming friends with them.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Local friends add so much not just to the trip but life too I feel 🙂