The Guiri Treatment. It happens most frequently with taxi drivers, occasionally at markets where the stall owners don’t know me, and now and again at bars. Basically it’s when a local service provider takes me for a guiri (an unflattering term used to describe foreigners, especially tourists) and decides it would be a clever idea to try and rip me off. Trust me, this is never a clever idea. I not only make sure I do not get ripped off, but I make enough of a fuss that (I hope) the guilty party will think twice before trying this kind of stunt again on a visiting foreigner.
The other day it happened at a bar I’d only been to once before. We had been out walking and stopped in for a quick beer before lunch, and I asked for 2 cañas. Most bars only serve one size of beer (the small cañas) but as I have sometimes been served larger ones when I’ve asked for a cerveza I always make sure I specifically order cañas to avoid confusion.
On this occasion I did the same and was given two large beers. I pointed out the mistake to the barman and he waved me away, so I assumed that he realized the error was his and that I wouldn’t be charged extra, which is usually the case when this happens (though at one bar they actually dumped the two large beers down the drain and poured me two fresh cañas – huh?). In fact, we only drank half the beers because we had to get going – and I can never finish a big beer anyhow – but when we went to pay he charged full price – 5€ for 2 large beers.
Let’s just say a very lively discussion commenced with the barman getting more and more heated, saying stuff like… “well, you drank it, didn’t you?” and “what am I supposed to do with that beer now?”… which, as you can imagine, didn’t go over very well with me. And yeah, I know it was just a couple of euros difference, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that this man purposely served me something I hadn’t ordered and then thought I was a Stupid Guiri who would just pay up and leave. Except I didn’t and – eventually and as always – victory was mine. Stupid Barman.