Friday, February 5, 2010

Fran and Fransja in Valapairso

Fran and Fransja, people we sat with in Atlanta, met in Valpraiso and sailed with on the Veendam, told us some rip off stories with great whatareyagonnadoaboutit glee.
First, they got some help from a man to move their luggage from the home they stayed in to the car to move from Santiago to Valparaiso. He said he would do it for a tip and so she tipped him what she thought was $2 dollars. It was really $20. He said he was moving luggage for 2 people so she gave him another bill. Then the woman who was driving them asked what they had tipped and Franja said about $4 dollars.
“That’ not enough,” her friend said so she tipped the guy another $4. Finally Fransja worked it out that she had an error involving decimal places and she realized why the guy was so happy.
Then they bought some wine to have wine, bread and cheese for dinner. They chose a bottle of wine and paid for it and felt pretty good about their good deal till they stopped in the next wine store just to look and found the same bottle for half the price. It was, they reported, lousy wine but it was paid for so they drank it.
The third rip off was they paid for stamps in a store where they bought post cards. They paid 600 pesos per stamp and never noticed that the stamps were worth 440 pesos.
While Fran and Fransja felt they were taken advantage by the citizens of Chile, Rick and I were cared for by a number of friendly aunts and uncles in Chile.
One woman came up to us in Santiago to tell us to wear our back packs in front so they wouldn’t be stolen. Several people told me to put my camera away or it would be stolen. Maria at the Hostel Morgan circled streets we should never walk on and one woman noticed that we paid for something with a 10,000 peso note instead of a 1,000 peso note and she made the woman give us back our money. Had she not spoken we never would have realized the mistake.

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