My story of almost being scammed dates back to my first trip to Yogyakarta in 2017.
My friend and I were approached by a well dressed older Indian man who started telling us about a wonderful Batik Exhibition, which was closing down later that day. We said we weren’t interested and he eventually wandered off.
We then bought some jewellery from a stall on the Main Street, had our photos taken with this very personable young man, who then asked us if we’d been to the Art Exhibition. We replied we hadn’t and that we were on our way to the Kraton Museum.
He told us that you it was closed for 2 hours over the lunch period. So we decided there was no harm in looking at the exhibition in the meantime and make use of the time before heading to the Museum after 2:30pm. We were duly given instructions on how to walk there, so off we went.
As we got into the back streets, we were approached by another middle-aged man, who asked if we were going to the Art Exhibition and offered to take us there. We said we didn’t need his help, as I had GOS on my iPhone, but he kept walking with us encouraging us to talk.
I became suspicious of his persistent chatter, and decided to Google the Exhibition, as something just didn’t feel right. Of course, I soon discovered this so-called Art Exhibition is a scam which dates back to 2009! I told my friend, and we turned back to walk the way we had come.
This fellow who had walked on ahead of us, was suddenly right beside us, and asked what we were doing. So I replied that we had decided not to go and it was a scam. Well with that, he was “right in my face, swore at me and was very aggressive and angry. I ignored him, but he proceeded to follow us along 2 more streets, all of the time verbally abusing us with the F word and worse!
Then…….along comes the affable young stall holder on his motor cycle, who stops to see if we’d found our way to the exhibition ok. When we told him that we’d decided not to go, his face turned very sour, muttered something we couldn’t understand, and off he roared!
Seems like he had been on his way to collect his share of the money for having directed us there!!
And it would appear that the middle-aged man was angry because he was missing out too.
I have since read horror stories of people being aggressively pressured to buy a piece at exorbitant prices, only to find the item fades in a very short time, or even falls apart!
AND, it turns out that the Kraton was open all day, with no lunch time closure.
I’m so very glad I had the thought to Google it. And I sure hope my post stops some other tourist falling into the trap!!
Cheers Adrienne Youd