Ahoy, Speedy92152. Homan is right in his reply to you. I lived and worked overseas for 15 years. I lived in Peru, Trinidad @ Tobago, Scotland, Norway, Libya, Hong Kong and Singapore. My two girls were born in Port
of Spain. Buksheesh, grease, "service fees"
are a way of life over there. I have been in
places that were battling rebels, having revolutions, burning the President in effigy
and was in Libya during it''s border skirmish
with Egypt. I helped from Tripoli when Iran
blew up and we were trying to get our people and some assets out of there. In all that time, in all those places, I have never once been in danger that I know of, or my family.
I bet the 15% "tax" on your purchases would have been a lot less than $210, and you would
have been done with it. Is it right? No. Are
we going to change it? No. If you go through the legal drill in a foreign country, they resent it. And some places will make you stay until the case is completely ajudicated.
For all the time trouble and effort, the penalty for a $210 dollar theft isn''t much. What will happen is they will wind up spreading their ill gotten gains around, and
nothing will happen to them. Don''t let it rile you. Just roll with it. I learned that
when I sense that it is comning, I offer a tip in gratitude for services rendered. I get to set the amount then, and I am in control, more or less. Notice animals in the wild. When a wolf starts after another which has snatched a piece of his carcass, as soon as the thief drops the piece, the chasing stops. Better to give a little than to wind up in a mess. It is just recognition of reality, a reality you didn''t created. When in Rome...etc.