Last time I was in the Gambia, I was constantly approached by touts on the beach, so much so that I adopted an alternative identity. This visit, I’ve been experimenting with different ways of avoiding undue trouble with hustlers.
Pretend to be mute. I tried this last week, and the beach hustler kept trying to communicate with me in sign language. The guy would not give up.
Falter. Last night, on my way home from a restaurant, I changed my course because I remembered I wanted to buy water and attracted significant attention. Hustlers can smell uncertainty.
Dress like a boring working person rather than a fun-loving tourist.
Mutter to yourself and occasionally start laughing, unprovoked by external stimuli. (I wish I could claim this was a purposeful ruse, but, well…)
1 thought on “do’s and don’t’s of avoiding street and beach touts”
Yeh, the going mute thing doesn’t work. When my buddy and I were getting chased by a drunk guy with a shotgun claiming to be a park fee collector in Peru, my buddy told him (in slurred speech) he was deaf, but that just meant the guy ran faster and caught up with me.