June 19, 2010 by jessperriam
(Or how some Egyptian rip-off artist was on the receiving end of the fiercest tirade of my life)
“There are good Egyptians and there are bad Egyptians,” said Tamer, the man at the hotel in Cairo.
Unfortunately for me, the first one I met was bad.
I was walking out of arrivals when someone came up to me.
“You need a taxi?”
“Yes… I suppose.” First red flag: he asked me from inside the terminal.
The entire trip should only cost 100 Egyptian pounds. And I said so.
The second red flag came up when there was this apparent charge to get out of the airport. 200 Egyptian pounds. I was in the car, I couldn’t get my way out of it now. A hair-raising ride swerving through traffic, almost crashing and me accusing him of not really being a taxi driver all came to a head at the hotel. I handed him a 100 Egyptian pound note, what I originally told him, putting the emphasis on Egyptian pounds.
He said something about it being a special taxi service (special was one word for it) and wanting ten thousand Egyptian pounds.
“No!” I yelled, “I said 100 Egyptian pounds before.”
“But this is a special taxi service.”
“No. I said 100 Egyptian pounds!”
“But my manager…”
As if he had a manager.
“Ok. 200 Egyptian pounds! THAT’S IT!”
I walked out of the car, slammed the door, all the while Captain Rip Off is yelling about 400 Egyptian Pounds.
“I want my bags. NOW!”
He still wouldn’t listen, so I flipped the boot open and grabbed my bags myself and walked away. People in the street were staring at my yelling tirade by that stage.
And I didn’t care.
My rock star quota just went up 10 points.
Not all Egyptians are bad. The ones at the hotel are great and polite, especially after I told them what happened. I guess a white girl travelling alone in Egypt kind of has a target over her head.