I don’t scam easily.
I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve met all kinds of scammers, but today they got me.
It goes like this –
You’re walking along the street. Up ahead is a shoe shine guy, with all his kit. Suddenly he walks off, but accidentally drops one of his brushes, without realising.
You, being a nice person, pick it up and catch up to him, and give it to him.
The shoe shine guy of course is incredibly grateful, and as a gesture of good will offers to shine your shoes for free.
In this instance, my wife was wearing dirty boots – accumulated over two weeks of walking the Via di Francesco in Umbria.
Oh, she says, I need my boots cleaned.
So the shoe shine guy cleans her boots.
And then he demands money.
I had walked away by this time, and didn’t realise that a financial transaction was in process.
The shoe shine guy was demanding 20 Turkish Lire..
My wife, being a person of purer heart than me, gladly hands over a 20Lr note.
I meanwhile wander back, realise what’s happened, realise immediately that the whole thing was a set-up and a scam, and demand the money back.
My wife then starts abusing me and telling me I’m heartless, and she would gladly pay 20Lr for her boots to be cleaned.
I ask my wife if she knows how much 20Lr is worth in Australian dollars.
I ask if she knows how much 20Lr is worth in Euros.
I tell her that for $10 Australian, I would not only clean her boots but I would polish her nails and clean her teeth as well.
She tells me that I should open my heart and be more generous.
I’m working on it…
Anyway, she said, it wasn’t a scam.
Later, as we were walking through a tourist area, the same thing happened.
A shoe shine guy accidentally dropped his brush in front of us as he was walking off – without him apparently realising.
I stepped over it and yelled out to him: Hey mate, you dropped your brush. You want your shoes shined?
My wife admonished me severely…