Monday, January 4, 2010

Surprised by Honesty

Photo: an electric bus is pushed down the street by the money collector guy. They usually start up again pretty quickly.

This is something I've been meaning to write about for a while, and am finally getting around to. Although corruption runs rampant in most areas of education, government, and most other areas of life here, I'm often surprised at how honest business people are in their dealings with me. (Don't worry, I'm still very careful).

There are lots of examples, but here are a few recent ones:

Today I was at a computer store to get an ink cartridge refilled. I bought my printer at this place and they recognize me because I come in every few weeks for refills. I told the guy I wanted to buy a new cartridge also, and though he was out of them, he referred me to the shop two doors down where they had them.

Last week I was taking a shared taxi (it runs a set route and people get in and out like on a bus). The cost of a ride is 2 somoni, less an 50 cents. I happened to be the only one in the taxi at the time, and we stopped at a light, but the poor guy's car refused to get going again! Car and bus troubles aren't anything new, so I just chilled in the car for a minute. Then I realized we weren't going any farther, and I started getting out of the car. The man handed me my money back! I gave him half back, and hoped the best for his poor car.

A couple weeks ago I got into a mini bus going the wrong way. I double checked our destination with the other passengers, and they pointed me to the opposite side of the road. The driver immediately stopped so I could get out...and handed me my money back.