It happens. Travelers get ripped off. And it happens often.
One of the most common ways of getting ripped off involves taking local transportation and sometimes it seems as if we spend hours every single day trying to negotiate taxi or rickshaw or tuk-tuk fares wherever we go. And somehow, no matter how hard we try, we almost always end up paying infinitely higher prices than locals.
Of course, as soon as we find ourselves being ripped off or once we learn that we paid much more than other travelers for the same journey, we are oh-so-quick to place all of the blame on the evil taxi or tuk-tuk or bicycle rickshaw driver who took our money.
After all, didn’t we approach the driver with a smile on our face, hand them a piece of paper with our destination scrawled in local script and then, just as our guide book instructs us to do, attempt to reach an agreement on the price before we entered their vehicle?
Yes, that’s exactly the steps we are trained to take and yet, we repeatedly find ourselves frustrated when the driver quotes us an extraordinarily high price for what we believe to be an extraordinarily short journey. Twenty-five dollars for a ride to the market? Come on, that’s a ripoff! It’s a good price sir. That’s ridiculous, I’ll give you five dollars. Five dollars? Impossible. Twenty dollars is my final offer. Are you nuts? No sir, fifteen dollars and we leave now. Fine, let’s go...........