After making a few inquiries at Hotels we felt were too expensive for us, Wendy asks this woman that walks passed us, if she new of any other affordable hotels, in this area, of Down Town Cairo.
Within the next minute, she had us in a taxi and we were on our way to the Tallisman Hotel. She told us that on getting to this hotel, we were to ask for Mary, and that the taxi would cost us 15 Egyptian pounds. ($3.00)
Well this was not going to be a 5 minute trip, as our driver kept stopping and talking to people, for it appeared to us for directions. ( Like most of the taxi drivers in Sydney do, and also like the Sydney drivers not in English)
Eventually he pulls up and says that the Hotel is just around the corner and wants his money.
So, I ask him to show us the hotel, which he doesn’t want to, as he also, knows this is not the Tallisman Hotel.
Even the staff at the reception don’t know the Tallisman Hotel.
Off we go again, and our driver eventually speaks to some-one who speaks English. We interrupted, and ask her to tell the driver to take us back to where he picked us up.
Returning to the original point we get out of the taxi, and give the driver 20 EP. as the fare was only supposed to be 15 EP, but he doesn’t even offer us any change.
I asked for change, and he passes me 1 EP. so I asked again, and he offers 1 more, so we threw the 1 EU. back at him and took the 20 EU. note from his hand and we left.
He didn’t even have the decency, to say goodbye, or to ask for his fare money, or the worst, even to wave to us as he left.
I might have been wrong, but I was prepared to pay him the fare, even though he didn’t take us to the place we wanted to go to. However I didn’t like the fact that he wasn’t going to give us any or the correct change. And he knew, he was wrong as he didn’t try to get any fare at all from us.
Pity we never found The Tallisman Hotel.
Especilly when you compare it with the one we were staying at.
But if we had found it, our stay and experiences in Cairo would have been very different.
Lesson 2. Taxi Drivers, believe it or not, are not a luxury here,they are a necessity, in the Middle East.