Its well known in Asia that if you're not shopping in a mall, you have to bargain for everything you buy. Having grown up with mostly mall type shopping, I'm hopeless at it. Occasionally, I'll make an attempt but most of the time, I just pay the price or get somebody else to do the bargaining.
Today, I've been thinking about the shopping that I do here in Indonesia. I'm automatically charged a higher price because people immediately know that I'm not local. I did start out with several attempts at bargaining but then I realized that the difference was a meaningless amount to me (especially after conversion) but may have meant a meal for the vendor. Yes, I do hate the feeling of being ripped off but if you think of it from the vendors point of view, it is an appropriate pricing decision. All businesses have different pricing models for different markets.
I don't mean this to sound condescending or patronizing but is it still considered charity if I allow myself to be ripped off? I had a post about a week ago on helping out at an orphanage but really, all I need to do is look at the people I'm surrounded by everyday and I could 'help'.
This is straying from today's subject of charity rip off but we decided to donate rice to the orphanage for now. And, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone by paying Yudi (my driver) the price that I would have been charged, and then asking him to go get the best price he can for himself and he keeps the difference. The problem now is convincing him to do it because he insists that if its for charity, the rice has to be the same price as the rice I eat. I keep telling him that it is seeing that I paid him that amount but.......we'll see.