Friday, August 19, 2011

You Might be Surprised What You get by Just Asking

We are traveling in the North East of Brazil. Yesterday we rented a beach buggy. Unfortunately the buggy is not quite to the standards of Hertz... We got it with almost no fuel and were at risk of running out (as there is no fuel station in our town). The tide was low so we decided to cross the river to the sandbar to kite a bit before dealing with the fuel situation. On the balsa (barge) across we were joined by another buggy, but this one had a tour guide as a driver. I know that some buggys carry a plastic bottle with a few liters of fuel as reserve so I approached the driver and asked him (in my non existent Portuguese) if he would sell me his reserve. He said he didn't have a fuel reserve but that if we were going to be at the sandbar for a while, he could bring me some fuel on his way back from his tour. Long story short: I gave him 20 Reals and a couple of hours later as we were packing our kiting gear he showed up with a couple of plastic bottles worth of fuel. Lesson for the kids: ask and you might be (pleasantly) surprised with what you get. And if not, not much lost. Corollary: sometime you have to trust people. The driver could have disappeared with my 20 Reals... Which, again, wouldn't have been a huge loss for me.

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