Sometimes you hear of tourists being ripped off for something when in a foreign country because they aren’t familiar enough with the language and currency. I’m pretty careful when it comes to the currency part, but I have had a couple incidents already in just the first week of my current journey where I feel my being a foreigner was taking advantage of. Some lessons learned, for sure, that I will be more mindful of going forward, and thankfully it wasn’t a lot of money.
As it turns out, one day last week when I was buying a transit pass at a convenience shop in Prague, the roles were reversed. I asked to buy a one-day pass (110 CZK) and the man behind the counter (who didn’t seem to know much, if any English) took out his book of tickets (they are tare-away), started to pull out the one-day ones, then saw a single pass free and put that one on the counter so he wouldn’t have to rip a new one out of the book.
Now, I don’t speak a lick of Czech, but I saw right away that he accidentally put out a three-day pass (320 CZK). Without hesitation, I pointed out that it was the wrong one. He acknowledged, and then proceeded to give me the correct one-day pass. As I was walking away down the street, I thought for a moment that I could’ve have taken advantage of his error and received the three-day pass for the one-day price. And maybe I could have justified doing so given what had happened in the previous incidents in which I was ripped off.
I believe though that we should always do the right thing, so this was never a consideration for me. I would have felt bad. I don’t ‘keep score’ or anything like that, but I feel the little things we do add up and that there is some sort of karmic balance in the universe. It’s not up to me to ‘correct the errors’, so to speak. Life seems to have a way of doing that on its own. Or in other words, your actions and choices catch up with you sooner or later – for better or worse.