How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off.

8-14-23 Istanbul Turkey

Fortunately, most people want to make a living. Others, however, want to rip you off. It doesn’t matter how much money they can get it’s just a game. And trust me some people get good at it. And as a tourist, you are going to run into it. someplace more than others.

Let me give you a few recent examples, in Istanbul.

I’ve been ripped off at restaurants, in taxis, corner stores, and the bazaars. Like I said it’s a game. How much can I take this person for? Like someone said, you have light skin and blue eyes, they know you are not from here. And somehow that’s a signal to rip me off.

Now I know if I’m buying something online or out of a person’s automobile trunk. I can get taken to the cleaners. But I also know that in the United States businesses don’t try and rip you off because you’re not from there. Sure one store may charge more than another, but they don’t charge more because you’re from out of town.

So here are s few things to look for to avoid getting ripped off.

First off, if they don’t have prices listed the price will be whatever they can get. Second, if they scan the bar codes on items then you are getting the same price as everyone. Third, if they are a chain, local or international they won’t rip you off. But besides that…

I’ve had a coffee shop charge me 150 lira for a cup of coffee. Then an hour later charge me 80 lire when other people were around.

Not one taxi has turned on their meter. They all give me a price and that’s my only choice. If I want to get back, I have to pay. Not a lot of other options, are there?

I’ve seen vendors, in Istanbul, sell water ranging in price from 5 lire to 45 lire. And the price is based on whether you are a tourist or not.

I’ve had restaurants give me a menu with prices listed, only to pad the final bill. And in some places they’re relentless.

So what are your options?

Find places you trust and try to buy from them. I have my favorite corner store, my favorite restaurants, and my favorite coffee shops.

But I pity the next restaurant that tries to pad the bill because I’m a tourist. I know I’ll never be back. And if I get loud and make the other patrons think about their bill, it’ll cost them more than a tip.

Until next time, enjoy life’s journey.

Joe OBrien

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