Reader Charles Harris recalls a trip to Egypt and the dilemma of from whom to buy his ‘overpriced souvenir rubbish’

Ruth Michaelson’s anonymous tour guide rightly points out that Egypt’s new anti-hawking law would target people “fighting to feed their families” (Egypt aims to protect tourism via ‘pester’ fines, 25 April). I also wonder who exactly it aims to protect. A few years ago, I took a guided trip to Cairo with my wife and younger son. On the coach, we were emphatically warned not to buy overpriced souvenir rubbish from the street salesmen who would surround us as soon as we arrived. At Giza, then, we were amused to be shepherded straight into an official tourist shop selling… overpriced souvenir rubbish. We voted with our feet, went outside and bought our overpriced tat from someone who surely needed the money more. We still have the fake hieroglyphics and little stone pyramids, which we keep proudly on display.
Charles Harris

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