A few steps to savings

This item appears on page 12 of the December 2008 issue.
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Istanbul, Turkey, is a wonderful city with many beautiful mosques. When our family disembarked from a cruise ship at Istanbul in July ’08, in a large lot at the base of the gangway there was a sea of taxi cabs. Drivers approached those of us who had not purchased the ship’s bus trip to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia and offered to show us the city’s tourist attractions for €l00-€125 (near $139-$173).

My wife and I, being veterans of bizarre shopping adventures, would always come back with a lower price, such as €50, and keep on walking, but one driver followed us and lowered the price to €80 ($111), to which we finally said, “Okay.”

However, if we had walked through the quagmire of taxi drivers, down the long driveway and outside the secured-fence area to the main street, we would have found other drivers offering the same service to the mosque for much less.

Our son Scott said he paid the driver of a yellow-and-black cab from the street about $25 to take him over and $10 to bring him back.

Not only that, our other son Jack took his entire family of six to the mosque on the trolley for $7 ($3.50 each way).

In our case, the driver waited around for us, and while we were in the mosque or museum he would take other passengers but then meet us at a certain location. A trolley offered the same ride to the highlights of the city for €17 (about $24); it’s the best way to go.

Patience will save you a lot sometimes.

JIM DELMONTE

Honolulu, HI

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Istanbul, Turkey, is a wonderful city with many beautiful mosques. When our family disembarked from a cruise ship at Istanbul in July ’08, in a large lot at the base of the gangway there was a sea of taxi cabs. Drivers approached those of us who had not purchased the ship’s bus trip to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia and offered to show us the city’s tourist attractions for €l00-€125 (near $139-$173).

My wife and I, being veterans of bizarre shopping adventures, would always come back with a lower price, such as €50, and keep on walking, but one driver followed us and lowered the price to €80 ($111), to which we finally said, “Okay.”

However, if we had walked through the quagmire of taxi drivers, down the long driveway and outside the secured-fence area to the main street, we would have found other drivers offering the same service to the mosque for much less.

Our son Scott said he paid the driver of a yellow-and-black cab from the street about $25 to take him over and $10 to bring him back.

Not only that, our other son Jack took his entire family of six to the mosque on the trolley for $7 ($3.50 each way).

In our case, the driver waited around for us, and while we were in the mosque or museum he would take other passengers but then meet us at a certain location. A trolley offered the same ride to the highlights of the city for €17 (about $24); it’s the best way to go.

Patience will save you a lot sometimes.

JIM DELMONTE

Honolulu, HI