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Dilemma no.2 - Dealing with scam artists

Travel Forums General Talk Dilemma no.2 - Dealing with scam artists

1. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 13y

Ok, here's a dilemma from personal experience. I'd like to know what others would have done, as I'm sure I could have handled this one better in retrospect.

While in Seville in Spain a couple of months ago, we set out one morning to get some breakfast at the local cafe. Just as we were passing the cathedral and about to cross the road a woman came up to us urgently and offered my partner a small olive branch and then handed me one. Although I was suspicious and tried initially to refuse, I made the mistake of taking it. She promptly took my hand and started reading my palm in Spanish. I didn't understand a word but I think she was saying something about two children.

Well, at the end of that of course she demanded her fee. Not having had a price told to me at the start I tried giving her 20 cents and be done with it, but her manner was forceful and demanding and it was a very uncomfortable to try to negotiate something that had already occurred! She demanded 2 Euros for her 'services'. What would you do in this situation if you had already been sucked into the situation?

2. Posted by sole (Full Member 208 posts) 13y

Peter,

That's a hard one! I think I wouldn't have offered her money at all, in offering her some money, no matter how little, you sort of accepted the palm reading, so it would be impossible to get out of it again. But it's very difficult because you don't want to offend anyone and be one of those very annoying tourists who don't try and adapt to their environment. In this case you were lucky that it was only a case of 2 euros, but still an annoying experience.

In Bali I've tried several times having cheap necklaces pushed on me. I do think that a lot of the time it was meant as a token of good luck and they didn't really expect anything back, but I have tried the other version where someone handed the necklace to my son and then expected me to buy stuff from her. That is something that really annoys me, using the kids that way, I got really angry at that time as my son of course didn't want to let go of the necklace again. He got to keep it and I think the woman understood what I meant, it was even in a small town where we stayed for about 1½ months and everybody knew us.... except this woman obviously

I tried once being offered a guided tour without any mentioning of payment, but luckily I'd already heard from others that we would be charged, so I was only annoyed that they didn't say anything from the start. I asked myself for the price which was very, very reasonable so that time there wasn't a problem, and we couldn't have done that tour without a guide anyhow ;)

cheers
Sole

3. Posted by AainaalyaA (Full Member 30 posts) 13y

hahaha... i know how that sounds.. makes you wonder what the govt is doing to help these vagrants.. anyway, the best is to part with your money sincerely. they too, are humans. If you give, give for "You". Otherwise wrestle them to "death do us part".. haha.. Cruel? no, its part of the evolution process, and they too have to learn.

Haggle with them, look in their palms and say something, and ask them for your fee...

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 13y

hehehe I would have loved to read her palms in return - that would have been a great
response!

Unfortunately, I just parted with the money and left it at that. Funny thing
was, the first thing she did was go over the road and buy a breakfast at exactly the
same place that we were heading for. In a way that made me feel better, because she
seemed to need the money to get that food!