At the airport bookstore

"I have changed my mind. I have seen a better one at another store. Can you give me my money back?"

"I am afraid that is not possible. I have put it through the till."

"Yes, you can. You just do n't want to"

A few moments later...

"My wife wants to return this. She has seen a better one"

"I am sorry. If I do this, I will have to pay for it"

"You can. I will sign any paper you want"

The girl at the desk out of exasperation gives the man his money and takes back the item and disconsolately records the transaction. She may well have to pay for it.

The item is a fridge magnet! The girl at the counter is Nepali, the couple are English and in their late twenties.

I am kicking myself for not intervening so I buy a book (a collection of short stories) and as I pay tell the girl that I will not be changing my mind.

She smiles.


  1. its true, the owner will take the money out of her(already meek) wages. wonder why so many tourists assume the culture they came from came with them, as if it had brought a ticket and rode on the airplane behind them, keeping them company.

    good on you for at least feel acknowledged and respected.

    1. Yes, I wished I had said something at the time to the couple...It was not the only example that day of cultural insensitivity.


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