Get off a bus or train in some towns and you will be treated to a rapturous reception. Everyone wants to know your name and business and, most especially, where you will be staying in their town.
You don’t find them, hostel touts will find you. He knows all the train, bus and boat timetables better than his own face and spends his time scuttling from one transport arrival to another. M & Gs are usually young men with a vehicle who work for a hotel except in Greece where they are a canny middle aged Greek lady with a spare room, dressed in black, on a scooter.
The M & G works for a local hotel or hostel. In fact, the cheapest, best hotel in town. No. Sorry. The only hotel in town. The one you were headed to is closed, they are all closed and if they weren’t they are all very bad anyway.
Why we hate them
The lies, oh, the lies.
Are they really so bad
Sometimes you can cut off your nose to spite your face if you ignore his advice. Their place may actually be better than the (since they got listed) overpriced dump Lonely Planet recommends. And he does have a car. Once you have given in they can turn into decent human beings with lots of valuable information to impart. Though make sure you find out all you need now, you won’t see him again until you are leaving town.
How to get rid
Know exactly where you are going and stick to your guns. Show no weakness. You’ve already booked, paid, you are meeting your long lost brother there. Otherwise go where they want to take you and let them earn their commission. Once one M & G has you, the others will lose all interest.
2 out of 5
Image courtesy Henry Zbyszynski