Saturday, September 1, 2007

We never get tired of being taken advantage of!!

So today me and bethany wanted to trade out 2 twin beds in for deckers, or bunk beds! We thought that i would be an easy task but it has yet to prove itself as that yet....

Bethany and i left our house at 10am and went to Iganga Road where there are some furniture shops and we pull up on our bodas, hop off, and begin to chat with our new "friend" Ronald. We brought him back to our house to take a look at our twin beds to see how much he could give us for them.

I reached into my bag and pulled out a 1000 shilling note and told my boda man to give the 500 balance to beth's boda man. He refused and said it was 1000 shillings to take us from iganga rd to our house on kisinja road. We started into our usual schpeel about how we are not tourists("see? this is our house, NOT a hotel!"), and we know the price of things ("we know this ride should cost us maybe 300 shillings but because we are white you charge 500") and i politely by quite firmly asked for my money back and i would give him my 500 shilling coin. He refused once again. Things got a little heated and after about 7 minutes of solid arguing the boda man biked away with us yelling at him " you are cheating us! you are a thief!". The remaining 2 boda men were so kind to us and were apologizing for that guy and so we gave them 2000 shillings each which is a solid 1500 shillings above the price of our boda ride. THe men were so appreciative and we said, make sure you tell your thief friend that we gave you so much extra because you were kind and didnt cheat us.

Ronald came in, looked at our beds and we agreed on 60,000 shillings and we added on another 30 thousand for the deckers, plus 8000 for transporting the beds. We also agreed that we could pick up the beds at 3:00pm the same day. Now, many times in Uganda we have noticed that people will tell little white lies just to tell you what you want to hear and when someone says "yes it will be ready at exactly 3pm" it really means, " i dont want to lose your business or money so i am going to tell you what i think you want to hear even if it means its not the right time."

So bethany and I visited Hope and Phin and chatted about some last minute details regarding Hope's leaving and our taking Phin and we also picked up the new Harry Potter book thats been circulating around our group of friends! (slim pickings on reading material here and we almost bought the new HP in Nairobi but couldn't afford it) AT 4 we decided to go back into town and check on our beds.

So we get 2 more boda men and take the same 8 minute bicycle boda ride from Nile Cresent to Iganga Rd and hang the 2 men 1000 shillings to split between them and the SAME THING HAPPENED as about 4 hours before! so bethany marches across the street, gets 2 500 coins for the 1000 note and plunks the money into the boda mans hands and we leave, slightly annoyed, to say the least!

AS we walk up to the shop i say to beth, "nothing has been done". We talk to Ronald and he tells us that since 4 hours before he had been getting some timbers. We get into a discussion of how he had told us 3, we REALLY need them beds because PHin is moving in with us, and finally we decide on midday tomorrow (12pm sunday). We leave but before we do i say to him, "if these beds are not ready at midday, you are giving us our money back and we are going somewhere else."

Sometimes its frustrating to be white here. People think that just because you are white, you are rich and we're like "no! really! in canada we are poor university students with buckets of debt and we're too old to be under our parents insurance so we have to pay for our health care and car insurance and even though it looks like we have loads of endless money, we had to work ourselves raggad to come here!"

And even though the difference between paying 500 and 1000 shillings is 30 cents, its the principle. Its not cool to cheat people, here or in canada. and Sometimes we don't care because whats 30 cents here and there but when people are sooo rude and so blatantly cheating you, it gets old.....real fast!!! It happens every single day and that combined with the endless marriage proposals, it wears on you.

But fear not! Tomorrow is another day and we even found our beloved cheese sauce today so we will start the day fresh and new!

We are also fasting and praying sunday and monday for Hope and Phin, that a miracle will happen. That the judge will grant favor on her adoption request and that She will have the time to get Phin's visas, a plane ticket and she will be able to go home this week. Anyone at home is welcome to join us. We are fasting from midnight tonight till 6pm tomorrow, and the same thing the next day. So please join us as we ask for a miracle! God Bless you all!

p.s....we still LOVVVVVVVVE Uganda!


Anonymous said...

hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

Jayp said...

thats a g8t xmas tree pic with tha little ones hey...aint they so cute???just a small one though..was the selection procedure biased to those with "tangible" bellies???