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MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Insult by paying or let them struggle?

in Money Saving Polls
63 replies 13.8K views
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Would you insult by paying or let them struggle?

You’re travelling overseas to a developing nation, and a good friend who originates from there asks you to drop off a parcel. On arrival, though you’ve eaten, the father insists on taking you and your family out to dinner to say thanks, explaining it's the local rules of hospitality. You soon realise it's one of the most expensive restaurants in the city and they order all the local delicacies for you. The bill's huge, a struggle for them, but not a big deal for you, yet the father refuses to let you pay, saying it’d insult him.

p.s. there's nothing dodgy in the parcel, that's not what the dilemma is about :)
Click reply to have your say

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  • I'd offer to buy a number of his prettier daughters to assist his financial woes, thus finding an acceptable way to hand the man money, remove from him the burden of paying for his daughter dowries and aquire some cost effective domestic service.
    I wonder why it is, that young men are always cautioned against bad girls. Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against.-David Niven
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 Posts
    Holiday Haggler
    You don't insult your hosts...but you're not stopped from buying them something to show your appreciation for your stay. You could 'repay' the family that way.
  • Far from whether I'd pay the restaurant bill, my main worry would be what was in the parcel, and why your friend had asked you to transport it there in the first place. Before accepting it, I'd require that it is opened by them and that I am allowed to inspect it, before I agree to take it with me.

    Anyone carrying any sort of package on a flight, no matter how much you trust the person who gave it to you, must always have seen the contents and be satisfied that it is okay to be taken onto the plane.
  • I'd say I would be insulted if I were not able to pay, so why not meet me half way. Hopefully, then no ones pride is too damaged and neither is anybodies bank balance.
  • I'd accept their hospitality, and then buy gifts for them before leaving as a thank you
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • If I was in the host's shoes, I would not want my guests paying for the meal if I have invited them to dinner. On this basis, I would offer to pay but then accept their reply if they insist on sorting the situation out themselves.
  • IzzardIzzard Forumite
    19 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    The father is obviously a proud man, so I'd appeal to his intelligence by politely pointing out the facts: we both work hard to earn our money but the cost of the meal is negligible to me (relatively speaking), simply because of the exchange rate... ...and his hospitality more than makes up for the financial cost to me.
  • My question is can you really believe that the parcel is not dodgy - surely you would have to declare at check in that you hadn't packed this item yourself !!!
  • bjcbjc Forumite
    1 Post
    I would hope that I would be sensitive enough to realise from the outset that the difference in culture or country might give me a significant financial advantage over the family, especially if it were someone from a third world country. I would try to assure them that I would be far more honoured if I could share time, or a normal meal, with the family and just enjoy their company for a while. I may still buy an appropriate gift for the family to show my appreciation of their company but I would NOT offer them money. I believe that anyone who is dignified and proud enough to make such a gesture would undoubtedly be mortified to receive such a response from a guest.
  • pixwixpixwix Forumite
    122 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Not a situation that would arise. I'd never be so stupid as to deliver an unopened parcel to a foreign country, and I doubt I'd regard anyone who asked as a friend.:confused:

    If the same quandary arose in a different way, I'd tell my host that I'd be insulted if he didn't allow me to pay at least half the bill. If that didn't solve it, I'd settle the matter with some expensive presents given just before I left (so they couldn't be reciprocated).
This discussion has been closed.
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