Sir, I'm not a tourist.

A few days ago, I was playing tour guide to a young American woman spending a week in Lima. We had spent the morning getting pedicures, eating a Peruvian lunch and our final stop was the Incan Market. This is by far the best place in Lima to find hand crafted goods from all over the country. We spent several hours exploring the booths and finally made our way home.

I hailed a cab and quickly asked the driver to take us to a roundabout that was approximately half way between our two apartments. He quoted me a price of S./5 which seemed reasonable. We hopped in and as we were driving I realized that instead of going to the roundabout, the driver could continue straight and drop off my friend right at her apartment. I became flustered, so my Spanish was a little rocky, but he understood. When she exited the taxi, I asked him to take me to my apartment.

We made small talk on the drive and as we neared my apartment I asked him for the new price, including the ride to my apartment. I've been here long enough to have a good idea about what the price should be. I also know enough about Peruvian taxis to know that I should have settled on the multi-destination price before I got into the taxi, but I'm making slow progress with these things and can't expect too much. He immediately quoted me the price "S./12".

In the next three seconds I simultaneously thought:

"12 soles!"
"He's ripping me off."
"I am not a tourist, I know what the price should be."
"Well, I'm already in and can't fight too much."
"Eh, it's worth a shot..."

I replied very firmly, "10 soles".

He looked into the rearview mirror and gave a small smile, realizing that he couldn't pull a tourist scam on me. "Yes, señorita, 10 soles."

And, success! It's not even about the two soles, which is roughly 60 cents. It's more so about making it known that I am in fact, a Peruvian in training and I won't fall for their tricks.


Ley said...

Well doneeeeee!!!!
When it's about money, Peruvians are very quick! Specially when they notice you are a tourist!

I became your follower because it is nice to see how an expat learn how to adapt to a country like Peru. Besides, I have Peruvian relatives and I always liked that land. Not for living but it is so interesting!

Again, well done! Keep doing that way!!!


Darrell said...

Heh! Heh! You're learning! Once you get completely confident with your Spanish, there'll be no holding you back chica! Love you! Dad

Kat said...

this entry made me laugh. :)
way to be bold, Meghan! haha.
i enjoyed seeing you recently and i have also enjoyed reading these last few blog entries (i've been looking through the most recent ones). enjoy the winter and your winter wardrobe! [i do love scarves myself and i'm always a little sad when it gets too warm to wear them.]

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