Handy Phrase

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Scott
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Post by Scott » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:16 pm

For what is is worth, and obviously to some people that is nothing, we have about 4 or 5 people with whom we regularly do things - they come over for a meal or coffee, we do the same with them, or we go out together, and they ALL, without exception, are native Egyptians - some of the kindest, generous people I have ever met.

As for living expenses, we are living much cheaper than we ever did in US, allowing us to save for my wife's future. We are also eating much better - much more fresh foods and much less processed foods. So, cheaper, and better, with a higher quality of life, and better friends than ever. Surprisingly to some, Egypt is making it possible for us to live a better quality life than ever before.

Best to all,
Scott


We make a living by what we get;
we make a life by what we give.

Scott
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Post by Scott » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 pm

One other thought if I may:

Recently I needed a new medication. I just went to the nearest pharmacy, they had it, price was 50 LE.

When I needed a refill, I had the time to go to my regular pharmacy. The price was 8.50 LE. When I got home I examined the first box and discovered that something, presumably the price, was carefully blocked out. I later had the chance to look it up in my Egyptian Drug Atlas and I found the price was listed as 8.50 LE.

What should I have expected to pay??? Or perhaps more correctly, what would be REASONABLE for me to have paid?

I am doing my level best to adopt, and be assimilated by, this society ---
I just want to be a part of it - not a VICTIM of it.

Best,
Scott
(Hope I got the punctuation right!)
We make a living by what we get;
we make a life by what we give.

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Post by jewel » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:49 pm

Uscut, Jewel means Shut up, Hush up, stop up your gob kind of thing
Thank you goddess for the translation ...it worked a treat anyhow!

An american/palestinian friend once taught me a phrase she said was very insulting and I should use it if I was harrassed...had stones thrown at me, that kind of thing but I never did.
It was something like "ya ga daam ich" and did mean something like your mothers blood is thick? Seemed a strange thing to say so i never bothered :roll:
I don't have a plan......so nothing can go wrong!

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Post by Glyphdoctor » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:37 pm

Scott wrote:One other thought if I may:

Recently I needed a new medication. I just went to the nearest pharmacy, they had it, price was 50 LE.

When I needed a refill, I had the time to go to my regular pharmacy. The price was 8.50 LE. When I got home I examined the first box and discovered that something, presumably the price, was carefully blocked out. I later had the chance to look it up in my Egyptian Drug Atlas and I found the price was listed as 8.50 LE.

What should I have expected to pay??? Or perhaps more correctly, what would be REASONABLE for me to have paid?
This topic has already been discussed to death recently, several times, in the same thread.

However, if there was a discrepancy and you were overcharged the first time then you should have returned and demanded an explanation. When my husband discovered some discrepancy in what a family member had paid for a drug at the village pharmacy last time we were in Luxor, he made sure that several family members were dispatched immediately to do an undercover investigation of sorts to get to the bottom of it. Apparently there was an innocent explanation in the end, which probably was a very good thing for the pharmacist because running afoul of my husband probably would not be very good for his business in the long run! Drug prices, as discussed in the other thread, are set by the government and one should not tolerate gouging.

Scott
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Post by Scott » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:12 pm

It's tough to challenge price gouging when you are dealing with something unfamiliar - and you discover the issue weeks later when you get a refill.

Actually best, noting that the real price had been obliterated, would have been for them to charge the correct price in the first place. Are you suggesting they didn't know the cost and price of their own stock??

Best to all,
Scptt
We make a living by what we get;
we make a life by what we give.

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Post by Glyphdoctor » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:04 am

It's only difficult and unfamiliar because you choose to view it that way. One of the supermarkets I used to shop at in Chicago made mistakes on the prices at least 1/3 of the time I went there and I always made sure to challenge it when it happened, either directly with the cashier or afterward at the customer service desk. I have had the same problem from time to time at Metro here and I challenge it in the same manner. Egypt is not Mars. The biggest problem some people have is assuming it is different in ways it is not. You know the price of drugs is fixed by the government, you know what the price should be, you have even paid that price before, so you are armed with all the information you need. What have you got to lose by going back except 41.50LE?

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Post by Mrs. Doubtfire » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:09 am

Scott has a good point when he says that he doesnt want to become a Victim of this society. That applies to all of us living here, but very often we can be inclined to see ourselves as victims, particularly when we are grossly overcharged for something.

Sometimes, this is through basic ignorance of the system though. Pharmacy products are very often priced in piastras and not in pounds and the price is often very badly stamped on the packet and can be quite difficult to read because of its small size. At a quick glance, (if one is thinking in Egyptian pounds) one looks for the decimal place - the dot, and the price registered in the mind is in Egyptian pounds. Indeed, it might be in piastras! If the price is stated in Piastras and not in pounds there is a "PT" stated after the price usually.

I have found myself that although one would think that young persons who work in pharmacies (and some older ones) would have a fairly high grade of education - this is often not the case. Shop assistants, particularly if they are busy chatting to one another and dealing with several people at once (seems to be an Egyptian trait) it can be very easy for one of them to quote the price in piastras (so they will say 'fifty' instead of 'five' - meaning pounds). If the customer then accepts fifty as the price and gives a fifty pound note instead of a fifty piastra note, the assistant - in their inattention and mind on the next customer - might simply take it and put it in the till without giving change or even realizing the mistake. This is a perfectly normal mistake when people are chatting amongst themselves, dealing with more than one customer and generally not paying attention to what they are doing - as I said a common thing here.

Nevertheless, there are those crafty one who will as a matter of course quote prices in piastras instead of pounds as they have discovered that there are those who dont query the prices at the time, and no doubt the shop assistant finds this adds quite considerably to his wages

I once had a conversation with a very distraught American who got on the ferry one day and asked the price. He was told a 'hundred'. The boy had quoted him in piastras. Normally this does not happen, and it may have been a try-on. However, the tourist paid him a hundred pounds and before anyone could even offer him change (which would have amounted to getting it all in small change) he had hurried on to get on the ferry which was about to move.

It was when he was sitting next to me when he had time to engage his brain that he asked me how much the ferry cost. I told him one pound, or as quoted to him 100 piastras. HE gave the boy collecting the money 100 pounds - the boy did NOT steal it. He hurried through and didnt wait for his change. He WAS NOT robbed or ripped off. He had misunderstood!! I went back over with him and the matter was quickly settled, but this is a point to watch particularly in markets where people sell fruit and vegetables, they often state the price in piastras and not in pounds, and even the price if marked on a price board will be in piastras - not in pounds.

Prices on pharmacy boxes are blocked out usually when boxes are broken open in order to sell the product one at a time rather than by the box. Usually in these cases the pharmacist knows the price for the box and the price for each piece. Prices on boxes are also blocked out when the pharmacist allows boxes to be broken open to sell individually. In these cases, you will often see the shop assistant open the box to see whether the contents are complete. Boxes where the price is NOT blocked open are not usually sold individually but by the box only - but different pharmacies work in different ways, they do not all have the same systems. However, I have always said "buyer beware" One is not always being ripped off. One simply misunderstands the 'system', and whose fault is that at the end of the day?

So, these mistakes do occure but they are not always deliberate. :mrgreen:

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Post by FABlux » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:26 pm

Glyph I think you missed Scott's point in that it was a new medication (to him) so he did not know the correct price, not having bought it before. He only found out when he got it the next time what it should have been priced at.

The first time I bought Ventolin here I had no idea how much it cost, when you can't breath you don't really care :roll: (13LE :D ) so could easily have been overcharged. Fortunately I also have regular Pharmacies that I use & this did not occur, I bought another this week at the Pharmacy by the Station & was still charged the same price :D I had expected it to be slightly higher a year on, allowing for inflation :oops:

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Post by Glyphdoctor » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:58 pm

I didn't misunderstand it at all. Once he knew the correct price and that he was overcharged he should go back and complain. The prices of drugs are set by the government and it is illegal to charge anything but the set price. If you go to any pharmacy in the entire country the exact same Ventolin will cost 13LE. This is why Scott recommended the drug guide to everyone. All drugs and their prices are listed there. It is also useful for finding alternative drugs from different manufacturers that are equivalent but might cost less.

Scott
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Post by Scott » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:20 pm

Glyph is correct - however I am a little weak on 20/20 hindsight!!! Seriously, it was a pharmacy I do not frequent, I did not have my book with me, and I thought it was too much trouble to pursue - even though I would have been correct to do so - and maybe save someone else from a similar experience. I guess I am just too much of a Woos!!!!

Best to all for the New Year!!!!
Scott
We make a living by what we get;
we make a life by what we give.

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