And then there are people who are plain jerks..

I can be frugal, to a fault, although I like to think that has faded with my time overseas, and possibly also with a growing savings account. I’ve been known to cut coupons, wait for the sales.

Thanks to my mom, I even go to supermarkets for price adjustments if something goes on sale a day after I made a purchase. My mom is even more hardcore- she remembers prices and spots mistakes in charges before she even leaves the store.

But, this guy is beyond over the top.. and just a plain jerk, don’t you think? I can understand being surprised by the price.. but should have just stopped with with $4.

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I think I’m in the mood for some Chinese the next time I’m in town.. and willing to leave a $4 tip. $12 if it’s a big order.

Read the full article on Boston.com. Although you gotta admit, the emails really say it all.

 

Postscript: Apparently that article went viral. Follow up:

– Response from the restaurant to the public outcry: Now, that’s just the epitome of class and grace.
Thanks but no thanks.”
– 
Response from the professor: Sometimes, it’s best to just recognize when you’re wrong.
I’m sorry.” 

Home bound, Oh my!

I am home. Or am I?

I have finally returned to the United States with no immediate plans to leave. What a novel feeling it is. Now.. for the culture shock. Notes from my first week, in no particular order:

American drivers are overly fond of their car horns. Yes, so are drivers of many countries. But living in the UK, there honking the car horn is specifically frowned upon, I underestimated how accustomed I have become to the relative quiet. Oi. My poor ears.

– I have options after 7pm on Sundays! What a joy it is to come back to the overly commercialized country of USA. Sometimes having businesses open late and on every day is a huge convenience. Especially when I’m in a limbo stage of no permanent home right now.

– Sticker shock. Oh, how affordable and reasonable cost of living in the US of A is! Truly. If there’s anything I appreciate about the goods market here, it is that there is a general level of quality assurance in the products, which, frankly, is worth paying for. So I looked forward to what I believe are more reasonable prices, especially compared to the UK.. until the sales taxes. Sheesh. Include them in the price label, is that too much to ask for?

– Supermarkets. I got lost. I admit it. On my first trip, running errands for my mother. I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products in the aisles and the choices!

Stay tuned. I am only one week in…

Finding where it hurts!

In the souks of Fes:

Vendor: 60 dirham!
Me: This dirty little thing? It’s even got a crack in it! 5 dirham!
Vendor: Tsk tsk. OK. 50 dirham!
Me: 10, final price!
Vendor: No. 15.
Me: Two for 20.
Vendor: Keep looking.

I finally found my haggling groove back.. it’s only taken almost two weeks. I admit I’ve gotten a kick out of hearing the following:

– “You are killing me!” (younger man with better mastery of colloquial English there!)
– “Please. You are hurting my family.”
– “You are my first sale. Insha-llah! 10 more dirham”
– “You are a tough woman” (got that right, mister!)

ps: 5 Moroccan dirham at time of haggling was about US $0.61. Heh. I really wasn’t that interested in it. I wanted to find that bottom line. Looks like I found it.

I do have a weak spot though. Men old enough to be my grandfather… my traditional roots show. In my upbringing, they should be taken cared of by their families, not dragging out their wares day in and day out. I am well aware some of them do so by choice, whether it’s the life they know and want to keep or for the company they have around them, but that particular demographic is my Achilles heel.

Middle-aged and young vendors? Bring. It. On.

10 Household Things You Don’t Think About..

.. When you are constantly on the road.. until you are not:

– How quickly toilet paper gets used up,
– Likewise for paper towels, cleaning supplies, hand soaps,
– That you have neighbors,
– Which day of the week the recycling gets collected,
– How many channels exist on your cable package,
– How much cleaning you have to constantly do,
– How much you actually spend on groceries,
– How quickly food goes bad,
– How much petrol costs,
– How many errands you have to run all the time.