In my travels to a few places around the globe, people in every city have common characteristics, positive and negative. Whiles the curious traveler may view those they meet with the most positive, non-judgmental attitude, the inevitable dark side of humanity will, at some point kick in. This can happen anywhere in the world.
As you enjoy, the cool wind in your face, the bustle and sounds of a busy city, and go about doing something as mundane as buying a phone sim card, your delight in the place can suddenly be soured by some unscrupulous character. People who think that ‘fleecing’ an unsuspecting tourist is being very clever, often don’t know the consequences of their stupidity. Firstly, they drive potential business away from their employers, disgrace themselves by making first time customers distrust them forever, and worse still, disgrace their whole community, and give a bad first impression of their society.
The owner of a country B&B, once said that, she was having a tough time with a group of foreign tourists who had wrongly suspected her of theft. It turned out in the end that the person who had made that mean accusation had herself merely misplaced her valuables which she later found under her seat on the tour coach. The B&B woman explained to us, that it would not benefit her, her business, or the impression of her country, to be dishonest. It would reflect on her countrymen and would leave a lasting bad impression which people from other places would carry away with them.
In some places, it seems a business strategy to hike up prices for foreigners and use a lower price rate for locals. In my view, there is no reason to practice such discrimination. It makes dishonesty the custom and an accepted practice. Some think that profit – making justifies cheating. Does it? Does profiteering also make the violation of labor and human rights OK? In conscience what would the answer be, if conscience exists?
So, even if the unsuspecting traveler is victimized and feels the loss of something ( regardless of its size or value), the ‘cheaters’ will be making even larger losses than they are foolishly unaware of. Dishonesty has its price. It could mean loss of a job, loss of reputation, and increasing loss of popularity leading to the death of a business.
So, is it worth being dishonest just to make a small gain but lose more than you realize, in the long run? It’s a form of being “penny wise and pound foolish”.