Monday, July 8, 2019

Another Local Rip-off

Our housekeeper's husband is a driver we used when we first came here, an honest sincere person. He told me back then never to loan people here money. When his daughter went into the hospital I asked him if he needed any help and he said no, they'd get by fine. Chris is an Aussie who started coming here to surf in the seventies and has lived here forty years or so, has a nearby excellent place to stay, the Kolonial House, owns the Power of Now Yoga nearby, said he lost money to unscrupulous locals a number of times till he finally found an honest lawyer who's helped him steer clear of that and does pro bono work for his charitable endeavors - the proceeds from his busy yoga studio go to support an orphanage. When our US born monk friend paid to have a hermitage built on his driver's land, Chris and I crossed our fingers that he'd not get screwed. Chris said that over and over he's seen foreigners do that and get locked out and told to go away. Stories like that in Bali are legion.

So our friend V. came over for me to translate some emails she'd received about something she'd bought online. I said that they say the order has been canceled and anytime she wants to reorder please do. She didn't have a credit card so a local woman she met at a Rotary Club event offered to help. When she met the woman, the treasurer of the Rotary was talking to her with concern about the accounting for significant funds for a project she'd been responsible for. I said to V - "You gave money to a local person to buy something for you?" "It was on an impulse. I really wanted it." I told her it looks like the woman took her money, made the order, then when V. was gone, canceled it. Almost everyone who's lived here a while has at least one experience like that. At least V.s was for only a few hundred dollars.

I've gotten to know our monk friend's driver. He's an upright person that V. is fortunate to know., an ally. Our visa agent is the same, the most admirable person. He's adopted a couple of kids. I've seen him help several foreigners who were in trouble at some expense. He even tried to help the local civil servant woman who ripped us off big time and ended up getting screwed by her for about 350 bucks and that's not the first or the second time he's lost money to natives taking advantage of his trusting nature. 

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