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Fixers - Tips

Thu, 8 Jul 2010 00:41:48

Hello Sarah, Fixers - A person who help fix problems, and is paid in unclear ways, sometimes is the problem. A fixer is a wanna be best friend guide, who will help, fix, solve, show you how to get around in a city. This is Andy of HoboTraveler.com in Badou, YOU WROTE and I will answer after the letter: Name: Sarah Skibitzke
Country: USA Message:
Hi Andy,
I came across your post about hiring a fixer in Togo. What more can you tell me about fixers...
1. How do you find one you trust if you don-t speak the language? word of mouth?
2. What can I expect to be able to get from a fixer? not get?...in terms of service?
3. Can they be dangerous, put me into dangerous scearios?
4. What kind of connections can i expect a good one to have? power in their community?
5. Can you write about me about other experiences you-ve had with others in other countries?
Anything would help! Cheers! And good luck out there!
Sarah ANSWERS What can I tell you about fixers, there is normally a fixer hanging around or near every hotel, in many ways this could be the Concierge in a Five Star Hotel, or the Bellman. This is not easy to answer, there is so many shadows and nuances to this type of person. I will try. 1. How do you find one you trust if you don't speak the language? word of mouth?

Note: A fixer will always speak your language and be personable, this is how they get the in, they are you answers when you feel weak, need help, and this person walks up and speaks you language.

Answer: I would say, I never trust them, they may earn trust, you may find this fixer or a recommendation from the Hotel Owner of Manager. However, you should not trust a manager of a hotel or the owner either. This is a confidence game in many ways, they try to gain confidence and the better they are, the more money they make. This is not a scam, although it can be, hotels do not like scammers hanging around. Therefore, the Hotel more or less gives and implied warranty to the person, saying he or she helps the clients more than hurts. However, will not claim any association with the fixer, a built in deny-ability of responsibility because the man or women YOU met in the street close to the hotel. The fixer will give money or help, many times the fixer is the person that meets you at a train station, bus station and wants to take you to a hotel. He gets a commission from the hotel, I will say he, because 95 percent are men. 2. What can I expect to be able to get from a fixer? not get?...in terms of service?

Answer: The fixer will indeed fix your problems or help you do what you want. A fixer is a sweet talker, they make you feel good, and for women, they are often the new boyfriend who lives by some strange help of the woman. In the Caribbean there are men who help women. There is no contract, this is a caveat emptor, beware, you are at risk situation. A fixer uses you to make easy money, and the client or you, me must be very strict and harsh, only paying for service rendered and the proper amount of money. You cannot pay a fixer what they want, you must pay them what is the real value. The fixer loves Americans, as an American is a soft target, we tend to trust and tip big. The American values services in terms of American money. Example: Here in Togo, a fixer isperson who is not easily employed in normal ways, if they got a job, they would make about 2-5 US dollars per day. This is normal pay here, and the fixer would be doing good to get the 2-5, normally they know, they would get the 1 dollar per day. So, when a soft target enters their area, they love is. One many in Togo a fixer in Lome, was offering up his friend, a girls for the night to me, he lived in the same area. He says to me, she will come to my room and sleep with me, for 15,000 CFA, maybe 20,000. He says this with a straight face, sociopath in a way, I was having fun, and said,
"Who is getting F---- ck, me, or the girl, how much do you get. And he says,
"I get nothing I am helping you, as your friend." Well, the long and short of it, the going price for a boom boom Cadeau girls in Lome, is about 5000, and I suppose if you are ugly and old, about 10,000, if the girl is exceptional, in a wild amount of money I would think 15,000. This is for the French or American idiot, who thinks he is in a candy factory. A fixer always has an agenda, and I get many people very mad at me, when I tell them their fixer is taking them. A Fixer does somehow earn the naive loyalty of his clients, and people will recommend them forever, they are not to be trusted, they are personable. My friend one times told me this person running for office was very personable. I said,
"So, all politicians are, why would that make them good or trustworthy. this is what the do, they are personable." 3. Can they be dangerous, put me into dangerous scearios?
Never trust a Fixer, this is caveat emptor.

Yes, the can be dangerous, I guess in about 1 in 500 times,especially if you meet a fixer away from the hotel. If you want to know if the fixer is semi-safe, you need to take the person to the hotel and show him or her to the owner or manager. Do not trust people you meet in the street, your best friend, the person you just met in the street is a fixer. Note, for women, in Mexico, I call them the ponytails, they are the hippie dippy, pony tail, I am Mexico person, they get to bang the girls, supported by the girls and will have up to five to ten girls on the hook, sort of a gigolo of sorts. A fixer is not going to kill you, they are going to get way too much money, hit a home run off your naive nature, and with women they get laid. 4. What kind of connections can i expect a good one to have? power in their community?

Answer: Hehehe, they are connected, they have no respect, but either does the mayor, I trust a policeman less than a fixer on the planet, in 80 percent of countries a policeman is more dangerous than a fixer, and the mayor is worst. Power in the community, I would say to make changes on a big level about zero, if you want a passport, if you want the customs officer to look the other way, if you want the permit for something, then the fixer is the person in between the corrupt official and you. 5. Can you write about me about other experiences you've had with others in other countries? I suppose I could, but as I wrote this, I thought about the hundreds of fixers I meet, I have two boys, and the sister here in Badou who are outside my room all the time. The girl wants me to Cadeau lover her, and take here to America. The two boys want to supply me with how to meet their sister information, and to take me to the Water Falls, help me get around in the city,etc. Their payment is to get beer, too much money, a small cadeau as much as they can convince me to give. It started to rain last night, they came to my hotel, the girl says, buy us an umbrella. I will say, in Istanbul, the carpet salesmen are the smartest and most fixer I have met, they can speak up to 5-10 languages, and Japanese or Chinese can be on the list, they are amazing, I enjoy talking with them. In many ways, I am a fixer, I remember selling a home to Doctor who moved from another city. About a year later, he had some very important friends coming to my city of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He calls me up, and wants recommendations for restaurants as he is an awkward and socially inept type person. I was more than happy to explain all the fine dining places in my cities, and to help him match the personalities up with the restaurant. However, I think you know what you are doing, your questions are worded too organized, I think small agenda in the background, so go to Istanbul, Turkey and talk to some of the best. I was having fun in Turkey, the fixers wanted me to come along and chase girls. I turned them down, they were just takers and users, they knew I had their number, but in a Arab, women are for toys type of brain cultures, they enjoy showing off their skills. As you talk with a carpet person, at any give time, they may be working and solving problems for about 10-30 girls, and wives, and the husband does not see that this sweet talker is working them. When the fixer is done, everyone is happy. A good deal is what a fixer gives, however a good deal is a perception, and most, the majority of tourist pay twice the going rate, to ten times the going rate, and go home and tell all their friends what a good deal they got. The illusion is more important than reality on a trip, if you stay to long as I do, the mask, the illusion of people and their great love for me, or how they are trying to use me is exposed. How you use this information with good fun, and take care, a fixer is you best friend and your worst enemy, this is John Steinbecks, Cannery Row type people and humanity at its best and worst. It is the first page to David Copperfields book a Tale of Two Cities. Sarah Under the Hood. Andy of HoboTraveler.com in Badou, Togo West Africa May 2007

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