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Travel Well And Prosper

Posted by Ed Reif» on - - 0 comments»



Tourist season is in full bloom in Dakar, and you don't need a hunting license-.

  
I am having  Sophie's Choice meltdown over choices.  This street vendor is such a nice guy, the Oskar Schindler of African Carved Art.

 I didn't realize I had so many friends in Senegal. " My friend! My friend! Buy my steering wheel (WTF?) Buy my shirts...Buy my....Street peddlers will literally follow you for blocks trying to sell you something. They will not take “no,” even in very French, for an answer.
 
You see, there are two kinds of people in this world, the workers and the hustlers. The hustlers never work and the workers never hustle and you my friend, are a worker
Molière had a saying-Le plus grand faible des hommes, c'est l'amour qu'ils ont de la vie. Man's greatest weakness is his love of life. I am absolutely misanthropic and strong however,  when it comes to being hassled by the locals in the game to seperate me from my cash.  With less than a week to go, nevertheless,  on my 2011 World Cruise- Bring on the marmalade. I am almost toast!
If you have a tiger by the tail you had better not let go!


A Chao is a unit of Chaos in Dakar "If buying Junk like this  off the sidewalk is wrong, I don’t want to be right."







Dakar is  the  Avril Lavigne of  tourist harrasment. Fine in intentional, measured doses even if it's nothing to brag about or make into a daily habit. Generally speaking, Street vendors have no country. It's an Americon attitude! Sometimes you have the mental energy to deal with it and other times not. My top spots for getting hassled, to the point of intimidation and obnoxiousness,  however  have not been only on this itinerary, They are:

#1-Boom! listen up,  without a doubt,  Ocho Rios, Jamacia is swaggerific---the Sacha Baron Cohen of tourist traps.  Everywhere you go it stirs things  up and you  either love it or hate it---time share offers, drugs, prostitution and hair braiding. "What do ya want, Mi a go aks di ooman dem.” There was a local guy  who became part of my landscape as we docked each week,  who went by the name of " Two Scoops". 2 was the Wilt Chamberlain of  Street Vendors.  He broke just about every  sales record  you could think of,  putting up numbers so unthinkable that nobody would  ever, ever reach them. Two Scoops,  Hay Mon, I salute you. It's too bad you're in jail now with your  friends Snap, Crackle and Pop.

#2. Cartegena, Colombia. "hola my friend...".  You can barely walk on the sidewalk without having locals literally F2F, hawking candy, cigarettes and mobile minutes. In addition,  if you take a picture of something, even an historical landmark, they will charge you a "tax" because it is their country.

#3.  The whole bloody country called India-, by virtue of such inhumanity as the caste system, is full of beggars, thieves and cons. EVERYBODY has his/her hand out.

#4. -- PPL (Gypsy's) will literally reach into your pocket and steal your change in Pisa, Italy.
#5  Ah! Mexico,where life is cheap, death is rich, and the buzzards are never unhappy. Then there is the informal economy  of Gringoville-Cabo San Lucas, So much junk, so little time, so many pesos, The Patron Saints of Tacos, bootleg DVDs and cut-rate clothing.
 "If the shoe fits... buy it in every color."

#6  Istanbul. The locals act as if they are insulted if you don’t go into their store and "Buy My Carpet"! Is there anything sadder than being Carpet Salesman of the year?  How about still carrying the card in your wallet nine years later (True Story).

#7 Paris  Under The Eiffel Tower-TCN's (3rd Country Nationals)“pretend” to find jewelry on the ground and try to convince you to buy it. It starts with  " Do you speak English?"


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