And so it finally came to be. TPOL had enough of the shenanigans of the Egyptian tour guides and let his voice be heard.
But before I get into that, let’s rewind to how I came to this point. On the way to the hotel my taxi driver abruptly stopped to speak to a dude on a motorbike. Said dude came to the window of the taxi and inquired as to where I was from. I said Iraq by way of America and he replied that he was from Egypt, a common response with everyone I have spoken to here.
Instantly, he broke into his sales pitch of taking me to the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and the West Bank. He said, “You can come as you wish, you can not come, either way you are welcome. We will not kill you.”
Reassured by his awkward kindness, I continued onto the hotel. At a tour of the Luxor Temple I met a woman who said she was a tour guide and could show me the Valley of the Kings for 100 EGP including transport and entry. The next day we went on the tour and her tune quickly changed. The 100 EGP would only be for her travel guide services and I would have to pay an additional 100 EGP ($12) to enter the Valley. While everyone believed that I was Egyptian and could have probably faked my way in for the local price of 10 EGP, Ms TPOL’s ‘European’ features killed that hustle.
Angry that I was paying double for what I bargained for, I voiced my displeasure to her. She tried excuse after excuse to rationalize her robbery to no avail. Sensing my frustration, she stated that in fact I was the problem. She said, “You are a bad tourist.”
Perhaps I should have been insulted but I took it as a compliment. If being a bad tourist means questioning why what we had bargained for was not honored then I accept the title of bad tourist. If being a bad tourist means refusing to pay more simply because Ms TPOL doesn’t like Egyptian but I do, then I’m a bad tourist. If being a bad tourist means not submitting to the injustice of being overcharged regardless if that is one dollar or one hundred, then damn it I’m a bad tourist.
To that end, I advise all TPOL readers to become the worst tourists of all time and not fall victim to price discrimination regardless of the excuse you are given.
Oh and if you do visit the Valley of the Kings don’t bother with a guide as they are prohibited from entering the tombs with you. All they can do is give you a wikipedia presentation and send you on your way. That’s hardly worth $2 let alone $12.