Keep Your Camel Ride to Yourself
He slowly rode slowly down the shoreline, making sure not to accidentally pass by an opportunity. The Arab was scouring the beach for tourists like a child searching the sand for the perfect seashell.
We'd become increasingly annoyed by the traveling bands of veiled women hawking their nonsense passing by our hut. It wasn't every hour, but it was certainly a few times a day.
Eventually the first of such women we encountered got the hint because of the English her daughter spoke. We explained through our little interpreter that her mother's time was wasted on us and that we would never purchase anything from her.
And after that everything was great. We'd wave to them as they walked past and they'd greet us and the baby.
These women have the awful habit of not respecting personal space (quite the effective sales tactic, I'm sure), as they'll simply walk into your bungalow's lounge area and start unpacking their shit. I watched them work Caucasian tourists over with this method at neighboring resorts with success, whereas we wouldn't come close to tolerating such behavior.
So, I suppose it was a nice (but not welcomed) change of pace to get this dude with his camel in front of our bungalow instead of another team of women.
He tried to pitch us a ride on the camel, but of course we weren't having any of it. More than anything we were greatly annoyed at the disturbance of the end of our quiet evening.
Aidric meandered over to the water's edge, indifferent to the towering beast.
"I just washed him!" the Arab persisted.
We could smell them from where we sat. If the camel was washed recently, he certainly wasn't.
He persisted for a bit longer, but gave up. His camel lurched forward a few steps, then stopped.
"Do you have change for 20 dollars?" he questioned, holding up a folded American note.
In a moment of disbelief I glanced at Tatiana quickly, then back to the man.
"No." I said firmly, shaking my head slightly to reinforce the point.
And he was off.
This left me wondering momentarily what this man's intentions were. I turned to Tatiana, who was also still a little surprised by the question.
"I bet the bill was counterfeit," I speculated aloud. "Do you remember when some guy asked me the same question passing by his stall inside Petra? It's a total scam… But there must be enough idiots out there who fall for it to make it worth their time to ask."
"Not us, though," Tatiana said with smile.
"No, certainly not us," I replied.