Originally Posted by MaidenScotland
I agree with most of what you have said but remember if all you meet are scammers, thieves and sexual predators then of course your view of a place will be coloured. The daily onslaught gets very weary.
It is easy to tell people how to do things.. I after all would have have stopped the taxi if he had turned my meter off and got out .. you didn't why not?
Don't do this, don't go there is not the problem.. the problem is with the people who do this and yes we must take precautions to try and prevent these thing but when are the Egyptian people going to stand up to these people who give them a bad name, who stop tourist coming and spending their dollars? This is not a new problem this has been going on for ever and I am sure each and every one of us had been had and will be again.. can you not see this is not a good view for anyone?
The victim is not to blame!!
I wish we could lock up all the sexual predators, and that Egyptian society as a whole would become much more vocal about how their activities are wrong, but for now it is just a problem that has to be dealt with, sadly. There are simply too many frustrated men (for a variety of reasons) and not enough of a legal/societal deterrent to discourage them from their disgusting behavior. Not that this justifies their behavior, it is despicable and cannot be justified.
The least the government can do now is announce extremely harsh laws against these crimes, and make sure that criminals know they will be enforced. The solutions will have to come from the government I think, being strongly pressured by organizations supported by the decent majority. Since this is something I believe liberals and Islamists both have a similar opinion on, its possible that it could happen. But even then, we'll need an effective, visible police force with a fast response time.
I also wish the taxis would stop ripping off people. Because there is minimal regulation of them here though, the odds of that are low. New regulations can be introduced, I hope, so that when you get ripped off there is some method to report it, and then punished accordingly. Eventually this could force them to clean up their act. I don't think the laws or regulations are in place yet to force that kind of scenario. So the only way to protect yourself is to basically prevent the rip-offs from occurring as best you can, and then moving on after they happen.
I can certainly see how it is frustrating to have to deal with these types of situations more regularly than you would elsewhere. At the end of the day you have to look for your peace of mind. I can certainly justify to myself paying extra for something when I think the person asking for the money needs it, and is not an indecent person. Others have different views.
Once, I believed a taxi driver was charging me more than they should have, by 1.50 LE. I let that irritate me. I realized, if I start to get this annoyed about such a small amount, I'll end up paying much more than 1.5 extra. So I simply move on, and do my best not to let the little things annoy me. Now I will argue as much as I can without letting myself get angry, and will simply tell taxis to move on if they don't like the price I negotiate before getting in. If I can't be bothered to argue, I'll take my chances and see how well they drive, and how much they decide to charge. If a big problem comes up after that, well, I haven't had to deal with that yet. I also call taxis who I like when I need to get around in Alex when I don't want to put up with the taxi process.
If a taxi driver is trying to charge you more because you are foreign, you shouldn't put up with it. I'm not saying to start fights with them, but if you know how much you should pay for the trip, give them that much + the tip if you want, and just walk out, and try to be polite. The ideal would be to work only with verified taxis.
I've even seen Egyptians get out and then pay, and they would probably be more lenient with foreigners that do that. Be careful to note though, sitting in traffic means you pay extra. I think its 0.25-0.5 LE for each minute of being in the taxi, based on what I saw sitting in a metered taxi. Since I think DeadGuy has been here much longer than I have, he might have better advice about this. I'm not trying to tell people what to do, I'm still learning myself, I guess I am just saying try to take it as a learning experience rather than let it get to you. So far I am doing that and having a much better time.
I'm certainly not blaming the victim, I didn't mean to give that impression. What I'm saying is, in terms of rip-off situations, you have to accept some of the blame if you don't try to prevent them from occurring in the future. I have learned how to avoid it for the most part and am much happier here as a result. One day I hope it won't be necessary to learn this kind of thing to have a good time here, and in other places.
Egypt is basically a place with little regulation and lots of flexibility. The people here depend on each other and basic human decency a lot more than they would in other places, where you can simply bring down a legal hammer on deviants. Education is the only way to 'nip this problem in the bud'.
Off to Cairo now, hoping to have/make it a pleasant experience