We all have our moments when we realise we have been conned. We had loved experiencing Beijing and being transported by cycle rickshaws. Our first rickshaw peddler had been an elderly gentleman, who had profoundly worried us. We had feared he might have a heart attack at any moment. He had bravely struggled up hills, often turning red and breathless. We had gladly handed over the money when we had reached our destination. We should probably have given him more as we had been so concerned for his wellbeing. Our next ride had been a profoundly different experience. We had agreed a destination and a fare, but then as we had gone to pay, he had announced that the fare had been per person, so we were in fact being expected to pay twice as much.
All travellers have had these kinds of experiences. We learn to bargain and to go with the flow. We know the rules are different and we eventually realise that not all our experiences will be positive but that in the end this is what it is all about. We leave our comfort zones behind because we seek knowledge, challenge, excitement etc.
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Somewhere along the way, we eventually learn not everybody plays by our rules.
It may be becoming increasingly important for us to recognise that the playbook might suddenly be radically different. We might need to start taking this into account. This does not mean changing who we are. However it might mean bearing in mind that others may not be who they initially appear to be and that we might be signing up for a ride which is considerably more expensive than we had originally anticipated.