Monday, March 30, 2009

S.C.3- I'm Still Overcharged In America!

Social Commentary Week 3 -- "Economic Crisis Yet I'm Still Overcharged In America!"

I just returned from an island paradise vacation. It was everything I expected and then some. I was able to relax, indulge my senses, and see some of the most beautiful places on earth. I expected to spend a little money and was very happy to find a deal on airline tickets and the actual cruise itself. With the economy in the state it was, I knew that the prices would be lower to encourage people to spend their money and help stimulate something about as dead as some of Mike Vick's dogs (too soon?).

Having gotten my tax return, a paycheck, and some money saved over the past few weeks I was ready to head to the islands mon! Boarding the ship I was immediately impressed with the level of organization and the way the whole ship was set up to separate my money from my wallet. Let me tell you what, they are damn good at what they do. I was able to unwind, grab some beverages of choice (I'll let your imagination do the work as to what they were), and gamble a bit on the ships casino. We landed in Nassau and were able to get off the boat, mix it up with the locals, and move from one local watering hole to another, ultimately ending up at a place called Van Bruggles. I have no reason to mention this place other than the fact that we actually met Van Bruggle himself, and the ultimate story of how we ended up there is worth its own social commentary (ask Austin or Grant for the details to that one). After VB we headed back to the boat and I proceeded to lose more of my moeny. It was all well and good. The prices were a bit high but in the end they were reasonable so there was no reason to complain.

No, now I know some of you may be wondering, what on earth does the title of this weeks SC have anything to do with what you've mentioned. This just sounds like a simple boast of how you were able to have an awesome week in the Bahamas while the rest were elsewhere. Well partly thats true, but it is important to note that I spent waaay too much money on the boat and the island. I have officially entered the realm of the poor college kid, and it's not fun. I did however have a few bucks upon entering the states and had committed myself to not spending any money until I got back to Raleigh and could go grocery shopping.

Well, let me just say my best friend sucks, he not only convinced me to go get some Bojangles with him at the Charlotte Airport, but also played quite possibly the worst game of UNO ever [more on that next week...this is called a tease boys and girls]. Upon entering the line at the airport Bojangles, I was greeted with the familiar smells and horrible Virginia Tech color scheme. I was excited! The time had come, others placed their order, and the time came for me. I already made up my mind before coming up to the line, I was going to get a cajun filet biscuit and water to keep things as low cost as possible. I told the waitress my order she rang me up and told me my total.

The words are still as clear as day and still give me nightmares from time to time, "That'll be $6.69." Let me repeat that if you didn't catch it the first time, I got ONE Biscuit and WATER, and they charged me SIX DOLLARS AND SIXTY NINE CENTS!. Do you not see the error in this? I did which I why I immediately did a double take, and said "I only got one biscuit and water, there must be a mistake?" She repeated the total and added this little doozey, "Our water isn't free." Excuse me! This is AMERICA, not some third world country, we get tap water in bathrooms that's fit to drink, and you can't fill up a cup with some H2O and hand it over to me? No! Instead you must charge me an OUTRAGEOUS 3.00 for a some damn water! This is ridiculous. Again, all of this began with my intial desicion to listen to my best friend. An error that will not be soon made again.

However, the beauty of this world is that everyone always gets whats coming to them. I want to preface this paragraph by stating that I in now way, shape, or form condone the practices of this Bojangles. In such economic times the things they are doing are criminal. Extortion at its finest. My best friend we'll call him Houston (It's to protect his identity) ordered his meal and then went all high roller and ordered a sweet tea. Normally, Bojangles sweet tea refils are free. F. R. E. E. Not this place, not this time, when he finished his drink that probably gave him 3 cavities, he went up for another refil, at this point they charged him again. Not full price, just the refil price: fifty-three cents. He complied and was left with what could be the most useless denomoniation of change known to man, FORTY-SEVEN CENTS! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WITH FORTY SEVEN CENTS!!!!! I don't get it? You can't even make a phone call at a pay phone, those are 50 cents, you can't get anything from a vending machine, most of that stuff is at least 65 cents, and lastly, you can't even get another refil of sweet tea!!

I spent over $400 dollars on the Norweigan Sky and in Nassau and never once felt as though I was being ripped off or taken advantage of. Everyone was great, I re-enter the States, and get back to North Carolina, and even end up at a Bojangles and am finally hosed! I am finally made the fool, and I am finally left found wanting. God Bless America, where this can all go on with out a care in the world. I wanted to treat the Bojangles lady like Shaq treated Stan Van Gundy. I wanted to ask Alex Rodriguez where he got his 'roids, juice up, come back, and punch her in the face. Instead all I could do was sigh, hand her my Visa Check Card and begrudgingly scarf down my biscuit.

-Jai Kumar

[editors note: Sorry for the last e-mail, something happened in g-mail and I don't know why it sent out an empty e-mail. enjoy the read, comment if you want, don't hit reply all, and most importantly avoid the bojangles in Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.]

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