I used to watch every penny
When I was younger and poorer, I used to watch every penny. People would make condescending remarks about my frugality. But, what could I do? I had to conserve the little that I had. As I grew older, my appetite for spending grew. I realized that I would have to make more money — a lot more money. So, I worked and worked and worked. I kept finding better ways to get ahead and succeed. Success is a difficult path. It is like forging your way up a steep mountain with many snakes, mountain lions, enemies, disloyal friends, pitfalls, and no marked trail. In any case, I started doing a lot better financially about ten years ago. I am still struggling to get ahead though.
I started being a big spender
A few years after my income picked up, I started wanting to experience the joys of life that I could never dream of before. I sampled fine wines. I ate great steaks. I even engaged in rum tasting. My cholesterol went through the roof, and my liver started complaining tremendously. I had to cut back. But, I had become a big spender. At least I was no longer frugal.
My five trips to India
A strange phenomenon took over me whenever I went to India. I developed what I call, “the rupee mentality.” I watched every rupee, and was very conscious of who was trying to cheat me out of a rupee. I took the train instead of a plane to save one or two thousand rupees. Why did I care? In American money it was pennies that I was concerning myself over. On a brighter note, whenever I came back from India I had lots of savings because my business was making money, but my bills for lunch and dinner were only a few dollars going to the best restaurants in my part of town! I got my web programming done for pennies too.
Fighting over 35 cents
The worst part of my rupee mentality was dealing with rick shaw guys. They always try to cheat you at a train station by asking for triple or quadruple what a fair should cost. From the train station to Dekkan in Pune costs about 60 rupees, but they were asking for 200 or 300. I told one guy 100, so he could rip me off a bit, but he kept bargaining with me all the way to my hotel for 120. I told him 100 fixed. These guys are desperate for whiskey money, so they’ll do anything for a fix. I now see why one of my friends always takes cabs and won’t get in a rick shaw unless she has to. It is a hassle dealing with these crooked and rude characters, not to mention dangerous being in such an unstable tiny vehicle. If a truck hits you, you’re done! But, why did I care about 20 rupees extra. It was only about 35 cents in the USA. The minute I’m back on American soil, I never think about such small amounts of money.
What is it with me. Why do I think big in America, and small in India? Am I picking up on India’s national attitude about money which is watching each fraction of a rupee no matter how rich or poor you are? Wherever you go, you pick up on the consciousness. Maybe this is what happened!