Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blue-eyed curse

Blue-eyed curse: the jump in prices that occurs when vendors see someone of eastern European decent and assume they are wealthy.

Carly and I have the same basic features, lighter colored hair, blue eyes, pale skin. What makes the Blue-eyed curse worse is that there are a lot of blue-eyed, light skinned Mennonites who are indeed very wealthy. Unfortunately we are not wealthy; we make around the Paraguayan minimum wage.

This past weekend we took several buses to get to and from 2 volunteer run radio programs and a VAC meeting. Every single time they tried to charge us 2,000-3,000G more than the actual rate. Fortunately Carly has been here for 15 months and knows what the actual ticket prices are supposed to be; she was able to get them to eventually sell them to us at the normal rate. I’m just amazed that they don’t recognize her, realize that she lives here and knows when they are not giving us the correct rate. Granted she had to learn the hard way what the prices were, by sometimes getting the right rate and sometimes getting overcharged, so maybe they are hoping she’ll forget and they’ll get lucky. Maybe its because Carly is still so nice to them when they are trying to overcharge us. It’s a very indirect, non-confrontational culture here, so her tactics are the most culturally acceptable.

However I do not have the money or the patience to kindly humor this kind of corruption; I’m a Muni volunteer for heavens sakes, this is what I’m supposed to help reduce. Thus, I am inclined 1) talk to the Muni and see if there is anything I can do on the local government level 2) take the direct route and inform the ticket vendors that I live in Campo 9, I am a volunteer in the community so I don’t have much money, I know the actual tickets prices, and I that is the price I intend to pay.

I have no intention on wasting what little money I do have to pad some asshole’s pockets and wasting precious few minutes of my life trying to get him to give me the correct ticket price. If we can reach that understanding as soon as possible with these individuals, my bus trips will instantly become more hassle free.


Grammy, Grandpa said...

Hola Lynz,
We're really delighted that your PC experience has been, perhgaps, even better than you anticipated originally.
Looks to us (grammy and I)like you will be doing about what you expected in Oaraguay.
From our standpoint, Paraguay is fortunate to have you there...the coutry will be a better place because of your presence.

Love ya,

Grammy and Grandpa

Grammy, Grandpa said...

OOPS, Sorry about all the typos.