We arrive into Antalya and find the bus to take us into town. A guy hops on the bus and I overhear him ask in English if the bus heads to Kaleici (the old town). Great, another tourist to head to the old town with, I invite him to join us and we get talking.

Firas is from Syria, from one of the few Orthodox Christian towns and is currently studying medicine in Chicago, he says he’s staying in the cheapest guesthouse in the old town and is happy to take us there.

In the morning we decide to take a two hour boat tour in Antalya to the big waterfall and head down to the pier to begin negotiating. The starting price for the tour is 40 Lira each (20 Euro) and we watch as Firas works his magic.

Turkish Tour Seller (TTS) #1: 20 Euro each.

Firas: No thank you, that’s too much.

TTS #1: How much do you want?

Firas: I am a student, I will see if that guy can offer cheaper.

TTS #1: Ok, for you 15 Euro.

Firas ignores the offer and approaches the next guy.

Firas: We would like to take a boat trip.

TTS #2: Sure, for you 10 Euro for 1 hour or 20 Euro for 2 hours.

Firas: Yesterday we paid much cheaper.

TTS #2: Ok, for you only 10 Lira for 1 hour, 20 lira for 2 hours.

Firas: We’ll give you 30 Lira for all of us (remember it was 160 Lira to begin with).

TTS #2: *decides against haggling any more* Ok sure, hop on the boat and wait five minutes for another customer or for 40 we go now.

We decide against paying the extra money and against waiting on the boat, so we wait on the dock. Five minutes later the guy gets two clients who he claims are paying 15 Euro each for the two hour tour, we offer 28 total, take it or leave it. He’s pissed off but decides it’s extra money anyway so he takes it, we climb on the boat and he decides to wait for some more customers. No one shows, the couple are pissed off at having to wait so long and leave, taking their money. We climb off the boat and take our money back.

Eventually we negotiate with another tour seller as a boat had just left, they get it to turn around and we pay 30 for all of us (half the price that the other people on the boat had agreed on).

We also visit the Antalya Archaeology Museum, where some kids happen to be on excursion.

How can the kids resist taking a photo with the tourists? I had the ugly kid take the photo so he wouldn’t ruin it.

Originally written for Moka

posts by Ivan