Places that haven’t been touristed as much haven’t figured out the game as well as, say, India which has had unwanted honkies roaming around for about 150 years now. Burma, on the other hand, is just getting into the scam game and it’s actually kind of cute how much they have to learn. We were renting a motorbike in Mawlamyine and, as is our wont, Jen was going to ride on the back to take pictures and I was in charge of not killing us both horrifically. A fair division of labor. When the bike renter saw that we were going to double up he said “Two people? That’s ten dollars.” “Is that really true?” I asked him. He hung his head like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “No, its not. I’m sorry.”
EDITOR’S NOTE:No matter how careful you are, you will get scammed. It will be embarrassing and demeaning. You will be bitter. In the arms race of travelers and scammers there are no winners, only survivors. But like any experience, its not the mistake you make, its the recovery that matters. Don’t let the few who prey on travelers sour your view of everyone. In our experience, there are far more people out there who want to help you than who want to scam you. Be smart, be wary, be in control.
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