Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Spare Change

Whilst in Auckland the other week I felt a little odd walking down the street.
Now I know people stand (or sit) asking for money and I have no problems with that.

I support my fair share of charities.

  1. Breast Cancer
  2. Diabetes
  3. Homeless Shelters
  4. Women's Refuge
So there I was walking down the street, dressed nicely (ok jeans and a jumper but I take pride in how I look) carrying a bunch of flowers and some hot chips.
The flowers were for my best friend who we were going to for dinner that night. She had just informed me that she had gotten engaged the night before, so flowers were a must.
It was also 4pm and I had missed lunch and decided to grab $2.50 worth of hot chips to eat when I got back to the hotel that was 5 mins away.
And then I got asked if I had a dollar to spare? And I said NO!

And I felt stink for saying it...but...I really didn't have a dollar to spare. Yes I was dressed well, carry flowers, which really are a luxury, and some hot food which I also know for some is a luxury, but I don't have money to spare. I support my charities but I don't have dollars floating freely to hand out to anyone that asks. I am unemployed you know. 
You never know what they are going to spend it on either, ok they may all be honest and use it for food but I am not giving out dollars to support smoking and drinking.

So I kept on walking thinking about how cruel I must have looked.

However on the other side of things, totally different story now, I was quite shocked that the hotel we stayed in charged 2% for the use of credit cards.
This was a well known international hotel that must have 90% of its guest survive on credit cards yet they were charging you to use it. You could pay by cash or Eftpos and not incur a charge.
Visa and MasterCard promote themselves on the ease with which you can use their cards around the world, how convenient it is to use credit cards, how safe it is yet they must charge the hotels a fair whack if the hotel  feels they must pass this charge on to the customer.

So no I didn't have a dollar to spare for the guy on the street as it went on paying the surcharge so I was able to pay for my breakfast in the hotel!


Jeremy Bates said...

Hey, if you have ever been to the Philippines, you would have a new appreciation for the few beggars in most cities.

I have traveled in 30 countries and have never occasioned upon as many beggars as I have here.

Nevertheless, I love it here and do what I can to help. Then again, I am not rich nor am I a sucker.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Don't you hate that!! UGH