home of the madduck/ blog/
Asian honesty

This vacation may mark the pinnacle of my streak of leaving and loosing things. While still in Thailand, I lost my wallet, and today I left my Lonely Planet at the market, and dropped my USB memory stick while in the cinema. Both are basically easy money for resellers, but in both cases, people kept them safe until I fechted them.

This brings back memories from previous trips... when I left my camera in a shop in Hanoi and the owner came running after me; when a streetboy ran after me because 5000 Vietnamese Dong dropped from my pocket; when just today, I accidentally used a 500 Kyat not to pay for a bottle of water (150-250 Kyats), turned to leave, and the seller stopped me to hand over the change.

I realise these are little things, and all the touts and cheaters you kind find in most larger cities here (especially Bangkok) aside, I would have to say that the honesty of the people (which is undeniably Buddhist) is one of the major reasons I keep coming back.

Update: this in from Mike Hommey:

I saw recently on Japanese TV that in South Korea, if you find a wallet, you can just drop it in a postal mailbox, and it will reach its owner within a few days. It also works for mobile phones.