Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Russian Ruse Part 2

Remember the Russian Ruse post from last year? The one where I was almost duped by this Russian maintenance guy...

Well, our filter needed changing again. In fact, I now realise just how way overdue the change was! The Russian Ruse post was from March 2008! Eddie finally arranged for someone from the condo management to change our filter. I waited at home this morning for this person to arrive.

Ding Dong...I open the door, and there he was again, the same fella who tried to cheat me last year...arggghhhh.

Nevermind, I led him to the bathroom, he changed the filter in about 5 minutes.

As he was leaving, I rummaged through my wallet and found spare change of 200 rubles, or about S$10, and gave it to him as tips. He took the money, looked at me with a grimace on his face and then proceeded to 'write' on the wall with his finger, 1, 1, and 0, followed by a Dollar Sign. In other words, he wanted US$110 for that 5-minute work!

I went "What?", and I think again he knew he'd be getting nowhere with me, so he handed me my 200 rubles (which he probably took as an insult), walked out the door and closed the door behind him.

He'd rather leave without a tip than go without his US$110?

??? STRANGE STRANGE STRANGE...

*********************

I have always been very puzzled by the way Russians (or at least those I've encountered) deal with financial matters.

For example, when we were hunting for an apartment, owners will ask for a certain rent, and after we offer that rent, they'd tell the agent that they've decided to wait it out for a few months cos they expect the rent will increase by another US$1000 by then. Expat friends tell me they have had similar experiences.

So, if let's say the rent is US$9000, they'd rather go without rent for 3 months and hope to find someone who'd pay them US$10000 later (maybe). In the meantime, they lose out on US$27000 of assured rental income.

??? STRANGE STRANGE STRANGE...

5 comments:

monlim said...

I wonder how they teach maths in Russian schools... or maybe they just don't account for opportunity costs!!

Lilian said...

Maybe people got too rich too quickly, so their view of money is a bit warped...

Puzzled by Puzzles! said...

Aw... u have hurt his pride! :P

monlim said...

I would've thought their views about money are similar to the mainland Chinese, same both countries got rich quickly. But looks like their pride is more important!

Lilian said...

Haha...seems like Chinese' pride and Russian' pride are quite different eh? Chinese' pride is about face, but it won't prevent them from milking every cent out of every situation, unlike Russian' pride.