Dollars and Sense

Have you ever felt like you were being hosed? Cheated? Duped?

I have.

In fact, when traveling, you often feel ripped off, especially in poorer countries. But usually, no offense to any particular sort, but it is the locals who rip you off. Well, the day before yesterday we went diving. It was great! Beforehand we had spoken with an English lady who ran the shop and she assured us that the dive would be a certain price (in US dollars) minus ten percent, since we were two people.

So we dive, we get done and then I go up to pay. Well, first of all, let me tell you a little background. Right now, the Indonesian Rupiah is 8500 to 1 USD. So, our day of diving was supposed to be 85 dollars, which would be 722,500 rupiah. Well, I give her my credit card and not only were we charged an extra 3 percent to use the card, but we were charged at an exchange rate of 9200 rupiah which equals 782,000, which is ACTUALLY (in bank terms) 92 dollars. So, I KNOW this is only a difference of SEVEN dollars. You say, why bother with 7 dollars, but she knowingly duped me! And I trusted her. That bitch.

So later in the day, I went to get money out of the ATM. There is only one in the town we are in. My ATM card is a Visa/Cirrus card. We get in line for the ATM and the guard comes up to us and says, "what kind of card do you have?" and I said, "don't worry about it!". He insisted on knowing. I told him, "it's a visa". He said, "this machine doesn't take visa, only MasterCard." I said, "okay thanks, but I am going to try it anyway" (as there was a cirrus logo right on the ATM machine).

So I go into the little box. It's one of those personal ATMs where there is an airconditioned box to go into to use the ATM and only one person can go at a time. I am in the middle of using my card and he opens the door and says, "is it working?" I said, "can you please close the door?" He leaves, then comes back as my money is coming out of the machine. He says, "did it work?" I say, "yes". He says, and I am serious about this -- "How much money did you get out?"

Are you serious? Get out of my face! First of all, he tells me it won't work, and it DOES! Second he gets all up in my grill, third he has the balls to ask me how much money I got out! I couldn't believe it. I said, "get out, PLEASE."

He finally did and I left the ATM, the whole time looking over my shoulder to make sure he was not following me!

So yesterday was a strange day for monetary transactions.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, that is a creepy situation with the ATM thing. Wow. What a jerk... I would have been tempted to like run once I got my money!

    And that really sucks about the diving experience. yes, it's only $7, but it's the principle of the situation that would bug me, too. It's just so dishonest.


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