Hurghada, Egypt: Don’t be hassled by the haggle

It comes with the territory. By the end of our 9 day trip, I was weary of any transaction made with the local Egyptian population. This time I was buying a lighter from the store set in an enclave of small shops within our resort. “50 Egyptian Pounds” the small, tanned, slightly dusty clerk with dark eyes and hair said. After a week of haggling, I assumed that his first offer would be high, but I still chuckled out loud. “50 Egyptian Pounds? That’s almost 6 euros!”. He laughed as well, can’t blame a guy for trying. That’s pretty much how you have to view the negotiation policy in Egypt. You really can’t blame them for trying to make some extra cash off of you. During our trip, we encountered this type of game almost daily. At the airport, our taxi driver requested two times the amount that we ended up paying. Once we arrived at the hotel, we thought we would be shielded from those that would have you pay exorbitant prices. However, we quickly found that even within the confines and the beauty of the sprawling resort area, with its manicured lawns and marble ceilings, negotiation was still the name of the game. Inside the hotel, they have a taxi service that will take guests all over the city. I called the hotel concierge to find out how much a taxi ride to downtown would be. She said “I don’t really know. It depends.” “You mean there are no set prices”? “I’m sorry sir but no. You will have to work out the price with Said”. It...