All of the tourists in Egypt flock to the Pyramids of Giza, located just outside of Cairo. Going where the tourists go, every “make a quick dollar” scam artist flocks to the pyramids as well.
The guy pictured above is one of those types of people.
One morning in Egypt I was wandering around the pyramids enjoying the peacefulness of the place when suddenly all of the camel jockeys noticed me. Their routines are all very similar, and since I was taking pictures, I was an easy target.
In some places the men will ride up on the camel and ask if you’d like to take a picture of their animal. If you say yes, you’ll owe them money. A lot of it. Other times, they’ll ask if you want a picture with the men themselves, on the camel or of the men on the camel. Sometimes they’ll tell you something random about the pyramids and then they’ll ask for a monetary tip for their knowledge. All of these things come unsolicited and it’s their way of getting the average tourists to give up some money.
Knowing this routine and probably seeing me wave off all of his buddies, the guy above didn’t bother asking.
He rode his camel quickly up while I was taking pictures and then demanded money since he was in my shot. If I protested, the camel guy make a scene and the police come over. The police then demand money for getting involved, and I’d still have to pay the camel rider.
It’s also a difficult situation anyway because a dollar to me means much more to them. While I’m complaining about their system of scamming tourists, the end result was I gave the guy less than two US dollars. (“One for me,” said the guy, “and one for sweets for my camel.”) I didn’t travel all the way around the world only to haggle with some guy over US$1.32, but I despise being taken advantage of.
On the other hand, I probably gave the money to the smartest guy in the group. All of his buddies were quickly waved off at the first chance I had. The above-pictured guy, however, came storming in and, essentially, forced his way into the picture. That’s pretty smart to see everyone else failing, but still finding a way to make it work.