A perfume shop in Cairo, Egypt

Touts and Hasslers We Love to Hate: The Helpful Friend

Hesitate at a road crossing for too long, wondering which way or where to go and you may find a Helpful Friend turns up to offer his suggestion.

Where found
Usually in Muslim countries, in the centre of big cities like Istanbul or Cairo.

Modus Operandi
The Helpful Friend is clean cut, wears a suit and speaks English perfectly. He sees that you are a little lost and offers his help. Nothing is too much trouble for him. Rather than give you directions he will be happy to take you there himself. It is very close. Five minutes later you are sipping tea in his uncle’s shop being sprayed with perfume or admiring carpets. You don’t quite know how that happened.

Why we hate them
Instead of sat here you could be doing something you actually wanted to do.

Are they really so bad?
Despite wasting your time and perhaps money, you may have been in the market for what they were selling anyway. Perhaps not now, not here, but sooner or later you may have voluntarily walked through their door asking to be brought the finest carpets known to humanity or alcohol free perfume. If not, at the least you got a free tea and a story to tell.

How to get rid
Buy the cheapest item for sale.

Nuisance Rating
2 out of 5

Image courtesy Ibadura

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