2004-10-31

Trickery

Mike in Vietnam:
"I spent all day trying to figure out why my account kept showing that I had no minutes left even though I had spent 200.000 dong earlier in the morning updating my account. Later I realized that I had not checked to confirm that my phone was actually updated while in the store. Clever trick. Employee acts like he is adding minutes. (But he is not). I pay. Then he hands me the phone, says I have new minutes, and then I walk out of the store, hop on a motorbike and go to work. When I get to work, oops, my account is not working. No minutes. I was duped."
This is one of the things that always irks me about traveling in the Third World — as a conspicuous honkey foreigner, one is likely being deceived and tricked in just about every transaction one makes. Poverty drives people to dishonesty; they're fully aware they're doing it, and that it's wrong, but they do it in order to eat, to feed their families.

As Ghandi said, "Poverty is the worst form of violence."