Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fat Haole Pricing Structure

After two days next to Taal Lake, one night spent on the shore and the other on the rim of the ancient volcano, we have traveled to Anilao, Mabini to partake in some scuba diving. The plan is for two dives this afternoon and two dives in the morning. I may have to go to Manila on Thursday for a meeting (work is taking advantage of my vacation), and we are still discussing what we'll do after that.

Taal was a great experience. Please enjoy some photos and some random thoughts:

Eden and her brother, Elvin, are my guides on my big fat Filipino adventure. The experience I'm having is something that I never could have without them, well, unless I invited one of my 500 Filipino Facebook friends to accompany me.

I've been on trips to other countries in Asia where the tour gives us a taste of local transportation. Here in the Philippines I'm doing the real thing, and although the thrill of sucking exhaust and hitting my head on the ceiling of every jeepney will eventually fade, for now I'm having a blast!

It is worth pointing out that I've been subjected to Fat Haole Retail everywhere we go. Without Edz and Elvin, I'd have a lot less cheese in my pocket and the middlemen and drivers would be planning for early retirement.

I'll probably dedicate a full blog post or book chapter to Edz and Elvin's tag team negotiating skills, but as an example, the first offer to rent three horses for a guided tour of Taal Volcano was P7,750 ($180). We ended up paying only P3,500 ($81) after about 20 minutes of negotiations.

During the negotiations I try to pretend I speak Swedish (learned as a child from watching the Muppets). It makes things easier.

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