I never know how much of the bad parts of traveling to put in this blog. I usually feel like an idiot a lot of the time and it is hard to share all those times with all the people I know. I mean, I have been traveling for how long and I still make the same mistakes. The other reason many of these moments don’t make it up are because I spend a lot of time rationalizing things while traveling, so much so that by the time I get to a computer, it has been so worked through that I don’t even care to mention it.
This morning I got up to pay the bill for our perfect little house in the valley to find that the man had quoted us in US dollar. That means, our cheap cheap place is now not cheap, in fact it is three times what we had thought. The really frustrating part is that we had expressed our dismay at the price and he nor his daughter made no effort to clarify. We kept saying 100 pesos, and they kept responding Si, 100, but no currency. At no time did they find it necessary to clarify even though we were in obvious disbelief. Another frustrating thing is that they quoted everything else in pesos. Breakfast, tours, etc. WTF!!! We even had a whole conversation about how everything else in the area was so expensive, around 200-300 pesos and he kept insisting that his was so cheap because it was so small. Anyway, I never know what to do in situations like this, so I paid him his stupid money and went back to the room. Later, the three of us returned to express our issue, knowing full well that we would not get anything, but at least we were heard and I got to fight with someone in another language.
On the drive back to Bariloche I went through a whole spectrum of emotions. I am stupid, always ask the currency. I shouldn’t have paid. (BTW, does anyone know what happens if you just don’t pay? Do they prevent you from leaving the country or anything if they have your info?). The emotion that stuck for a long time was obviously anger, he had taken a great night that would have been remembered as very fun and peaceful into an issue about money and getting ripped off. In the end, we settled on revenge. For those of you who don’t know me, I am not extremely vengeful, but if I have all this time on my hands, as I do when I am travelling, why not. We had a long discussion about what a rightful revenge would be. My innitial response was to steal this picture from the cabin that I absolutely loved, but it was nailed to the wall. Of course I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway, but I tried for a second to get it. We left without taking anything of course.
All I wanted was for him to not get the same amount of money that he decieved us about. We had planned to return to the place, but after this, we would not. I can credit that as him losing what we would have thought we would have spent that night. So the rest of the revenge is that I make one reservation and not show up, that will do for me.
The problem is that each time this happens, people like him take away a little more of my trust in society. I mean to be clear, we talked to him for a long time this morning. I said, at no point did you say it was in US dollars. If you were in the middle of the United States, would you expect to be quoted in British pounds or Reals? And even though we asked repeatedly about the price, you felt no need to clarify? He said it wasn’t his fault that we didn’t understand and maybe he is right, but it wasn’t like he had quoted a price and we said, fine. He qouted the price and we were like, really? Really? No, really? For real? Really? I don’t understand, really? 100 pesos? SI SI SI SI SI SI!
Mike had a great idea in the car which we have neither the patience nor the vengeful nature to execute, but is still fun to think about. Since this man takes little pieces of our trust in people’s honesty and full disclosure, we could take away his trust in reservations. If we bombarded him with fake reservations, everytime he wrote one in his book, he would have to question whether it was real or not. He probably would just set up a system for figuring it out, but that little effort is the same as our extra little effort to check people’s stories.
PS. I know that 100 USD for three people is cheap, but I get really really really wrapped up in going cheaper and cheaper.
We are now back in Bariloche at Hostel 1004, which has a great view and we are paying-checked and rechecked and written down and paid in advance- a nice room for a reasonable price that we will be in for a few days. The last 7 days, we have slept 7 different places, which is extremely tiring and it will be nice to sleep in and see something in depth.
Something great about traveling is that most problems can be overcome easily with a nice bitch session, some big beers and good gelato. Beer and gelato to come.