Getting scammed (some more)
Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
76Trip End Jun 22, 2010
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This scam I like to call "the stinky fish"
It was Wednesday night and time was short until the next Couch Surfing meeting on the other side of the town near Taksim. So, we battened down the hatches and headed out for the meeting (a little behind schedule I might add). Once we made our way through the maze of streets (looking for a mythical friend of Tatis) we were approached by another really nice Turkish man (at this point it is good to mention to not trust nice Turkish men in Istanbul). The gentleman begged us to see his menu and showed us the fresh fish dangling in the next door fresh fish market. Upon asking for prices he quickly yelled out some reasonable numbers and waved us into the restaurant. As (not after, but as) we were being seated a nice tall bottle of mineral water was opened and we were brought what appeared to be complementary bread (hell, who charges for bread?). Then we opened the menus and found out (after knee deep in the bread ) that the prices that we were quoted were per gram… not per kilo gram, but per gram! In order to order a normal fish, it was going to cost us (per the server) only 120 lire (roughly 90 dollars for 2 filets). Now you might be asking yourself, were these 90 dollar filets made of gold? The answer is no. So once we waved off the fish and said that we would only like a small dinner salad, we were frowned at and told that they would be will to (get this) negotiate down the price of the fish from the menu and sell it to us for 70 lire (50 dollar). At this point Laura was getting pissed and told the waiter that she shouldn't have to negotiate a price at a restaurant and that she just wanted a salad.
Once the salad had made it to the digestive track we were in for some heartburn. They charged us 8.00 for bread and water. Do I smell some bullshit? Why yes, I do!
This last scam I like to call, "I think I stepped in bullshit"
It's just after dark, the local market owners are closing down shop and heading home; many on foot. As you walk down the street, you notice that a shoe shiner dropped his shoe shine brush. Being the kind American you are you pick it up and yell "Sir, you dropped your brush!" Said shoe shiner happily turns around thanking you profusely and insisting that he pay you back by shining your shoes. You pull back and say that it is not necessary, but it is too late because the Speedy Gonzales of shoe shines has your lefty already shining like a mirror. Next thing you know, his brother flanks left and is brushing Laura's tennis shoes with what appears to be an oversized toothbrush telling you his sob story about his wife's cesarean section yesterday. Once the shine is over he asks for a tip. No big deal, you ask Laura for a Lira or two (I like to call them Turkles) and the shoe shine replies, that 2 lire is not a big enough tip and that I cheated him. You cheat me, you American!