|Some Con Trick|
It's the middle of the day, I am approaching the souvenirs market and already a hopeful hawker of leather sandals has spotted me. I see a cold-drinks stall by the side of the road and feeling rather parched, sit under the umbrella and order a drink. Suddenly, out of nowhere a chap appears in front of me waving a CFA5000 note in my face. "You have monnaie?"
"No." (It’s a common problem
even in the capital.)
"I need CFA2000 now quick quick. You have? Yes? I bring now now." I don’t know why I respond but I know I have two CFA1000 notes and I don’t feel uncomfortable opening my wallet in front of him. Anyway, he offers me a CFA5000 note, I give out CFA2000, where’s the risk? It’s up to him to find me, right? Just at that moment it occurs to me that maybe the fiver is a forgery. Aha! Then I’d be a fool, but no it looks fine and the stall keeper agrees it's genuine. We exchange bank notes and he disappears. Everything seems ok. I still have my wallet and camera. I sit back and enjoy the rest of my Fanta.
While I am at the stall I decide to buy some other things and coincidently these come to CFA2000. I am about to pay when it occurs to me that I can use the CFA5000 note I’ve just put in my wallet. It's still there. It hasn’t dissolved or become a serviette. I offer it to the stallholder who accepts it without hesitation and gives me "my" CFA3000 change. A minute or so later the "trickster" reappears and tells me I owe him CFA3000. I pass on the change I’ve just been given and walk away believing that everything is in order but with a niggling doubt that I may have missed something. Even a week later I am still looking for the catch. Answers on a postcard please.
|Some Con Trick|