Visiting the Great Pyramids of Egypt at Giza has been a lifelong desire.I was part of a group of tourists visiting the Holy Land countries,and at our Egyptian leg of the tour, we went down to Giza.
It was a phenomenal trip,riding camels at the backdrop of the pyramids and really appreciating ancient technology that puts modern us to shame.
It was not all rosy,we ran into a group of vendors dealing with souvenirs-mostly sculptures of Pharaohs in their regalia,Egyptian gods-and having grown up watching the cartoon series Papyrus – these were a must have!
Amid the shouting and haggling,One vendor showed me through his collection and even assured to customize it for me by engraving a name or message onto it. Of course, I liked the offer.The cost was 10 Pounds.I was happy for such a bargain (roughly half-dollar) or so I thought !
After engraving beautiful calligraphy on the souvenir , he asked for cash and I reached to my wallet,fumbling the Egyptian Notes, and I heard something to the effect of “No Egypt money,I say British pound!”.
Just like that-my goose was cooked. I argued back,in my defense and his tone grew harsher and voice louder. He was creating a scene,and I could feel hundreds of eyes staring at me. “10 British!” he demanded, now speaking in an incoherent mix of English and Arabic.It was clear that there is no return policy as once customized, is considered as sold. I took humble pie and paid the equivalent of 10 GBP !
Guys, please be careful while in Egypt to always ensure that your conversation is about Egyptian Pounds and not any other Pounds.Street level vendors at popular tourist destinations will take advantage and scam you.They will create a scene to discourage you from fighting back!