It would not be appropriate for us to leave Indonesia without being ripped off one last time...
The ripping off is constant and I have been very fortunate to have Nate fight for every nickle and dime for us. Last night was one of my favorites... we were at a used book store trying to trade our Lonely Planet for a Thailand one. The only book they had was a ratty, photo-copied one but it was recent so we went for it. The man started at $14 and the bargaining went on and on long enough that I needed to take a seat. After going down and then suddenly coming back up on the price, Nate became so furious that he told the man, "Okay. 5,4,3,2,1. I'm LEAVING." Imagine him holding up the appropriate number of fingers as he counted. It was as if he was talking to a child and I burst out laughing. The man was perhaps caught off guard and in the end took our book for a trade and charged us a minimal price for the new book. Every time we bargain, we get the price we want and say from the beginning but it takes soooo long.
After paying a ridiculous airport fee of $17 each this morning, we go and search for a snack to bring with us. We find a box of Ritz crackers and think that sounds pretty good and different. The stories did not put price tags on their items so they would simply make up a price for each item you inquired about. Well the first place wanted $6. The next... $5. And on and on. We had to search all the stores before finding one that was $4. Nate tried and tried to bargain the woman down to $3 but she wouldn't budge. In the end, we paid her and started to leave when Nate decided he didn't want our box because there was a small tear from the top. He picked a new box which had a price tag and was less than $3! The woman was trying to rip us off and wouldn't even bargain. Nate was appalled, she was embarrassed and I was just happy to have the crackers!
The last story for today is a good one... in the Bali airport they do security a bit differently. You check through as normal but then there is an extra security check at your gate where you are not allowed to bring in ANY liquids. You cannot have water and you must purchase it on the airplane. A bit of a rip off? I think so.
Well, we are now in Thailand where things seem to be a bit cheaper and it is low season! We just finished a deliciously spicy papaya salad and a green curry. Off to an island tomorrow - life is good :)
Hope all is well back home!
Love, Allison and Nate