Pesky Merchants

Moments upon arrival in Egypt the assault begins. Travelers are bludgeoned at the airport by cab drivers offering rides into the city before the baggage even rolls off the turnstile. This is merely a sign of things to come. Anywhere tourists go there are swarms of merchants plying for your hard currency.

Five merchants to every tourist.

Two problems here. One is the decline in tourism due to fundamental militants randomly terrorizing tourists and disrupting Egypt's most lucrative industry. Second is the utter lack of respect and contempt these merchants hold for the very people who provide their livelihood. I can understand why they are desperate, but there is no excuse for rude and aggressive behavior.

Dancing on the banks of the Nile. Some merchants can be cool.

You don't have to do or say anything to be harassed when you walk by a shop. The merchants stand out front and try every trick in the book to get you to stop. They just don't let up. If you do go into their shop and leave without buying something, chances are you will be insulted on your way out. Keeping a sense of humor and assuming they are not all jerks is probably the best way to preserve ones' sanity amidst the barrage.

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