Sunday, October 2, 2011

Uh, that's wrong!

The joys of having information at hand. I was having dinner at a hotel in Entebbe, Uganda. The steak was so tough that I tried all the knives on the table with the hope of finding one that can cut through the steak, but with no avail. After finishing my meal, I asked for the bill. It came to 30,500 Ugandan Shillings. I asked the waiter if I could pay with dollars, because I have no shillings on me. While he went back to find out what it would be in dollars, I took out my iPhone and checked on the currency exchange application what the amount should be.

"That would be fifteen dollars, sir". "No" I said, "I think you have made a mistake". He looked at me as if I was telling him that my being there was just a figment of his imagination and that I wasn't there at all. I saw that I need to elaborate so I showed him the exchange rate on my iPhone. "It should be 10 dollars, 62", I said. "OK, I'll go back and make sure", he said and left.

A few minutes later the waiter returned and told me it would be 11 dollars then. I ended up giving him 12 dollars, tip included. I hope that the embarrassment he suffered for trying to rob in me broad daylight at least would make him think twice next time when he just sucks out an amount from his thumb to screw another unsuspected visitor to his country. I am so glad I had this information with me, and be sure, when you travel to Africa, do yourself a favour and check the exchange rates.

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