International Rip-offs: Ethiopia

To date I have traveled to four African countries and the east African island of Zanzibar. I am happy to report that I had a wonderful time in each country. I am dismayed by the fact that I have to report that I was ripped off in one of those countries. Sure, you can blame me for traveling alone, talking to strangers, and not staying on the beaten path. But, where is the fun in that?

I am sharing my sad story to entertain you, in the hope that another traveler will benefit from my blog post in so much as they will be more cautious and less gullible than me.

Although I am sure there are scams that I am unaware of in every corner of the globe, I believe that being prepared, having tour guides, and traveling with a group are sure ways to limit the chances of being ripped off while abroad.

With that said, I will retell my story about Ethiopia.

The Set Up

I met a nice young man who started talking to me at a restaurant in Addis Ababa suggested that I follow him to a local bar. He led me to a home that was converted into a bar where women, alcohol, and marijuana were available. He suggested I buy the women drinks. I did not know that their drinks were ridiculously expensive. In less than ten minutes I was being told that my beer and the “lady’s drinks” totaled approximately $140USD. Not wanting to lose anything more valuable than the cash in my bank account, I paid, then scolded the man about how deceptive his ways were. And I walked away smarter, though with a lighter pocketbook.

In no way did this experience change my impression of Ethiopian people, culture, history, etc. I love Ethiopia!

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