I know, I know! I feel so ignorant that I was scammed. But more than that, I felt sad that there is that harsh world of scammers. Husband always scolded me about this, always told me that I live in a fairy tale world. I received that comment with indignation. I don’t think I was stupid because I always believed in the utmost goodness of man.
This, however, just threw me off my belief and forced me to see others in great caution. At the end of the day, we should choose to protect ourselves in the first place.
Okay, so now to my story. Sorry, I got side-tracked haha —
I was on my way back to Manila from my four-day Beijing trip. I was early at the airport and was viewing the flight schedules when a man in a suit with an Air China nameplate approached me and in pre-school English and a lot of Mandarin, told me that he will assist me to the counter. Since I was too early, He said that I will be catered to a different front desk apart from where all the other passengers lined up. The counter was just beside the other Air China counters so I did not have any doubt that this was just some staff extending excellent customer service. Check-in was a breeze and I searched in the internet how much other people would usually tip. I did not see any reference. Since I was feeling pretty generous because of this extra mile (and I did not have smaller bills as well), I was planning to give him RMB100!
After checking in, he pointed to me the gate and asked me for RMB300! Is this guy effin’ crazy?! That is equivalent to PHP2,100 just for a tip his assistance? What the hell! He kept on egging me to give him more and I interjected and shouted what a lousy kind of an airline personnel he is. I told him I do not have any bills anymore. He kept on insisting until I raised my voice several notches higher, enough for other people to look at us. When I was drawing a little more attention, he left and said goodbye. Ugh!
I searched for Beijing scams and found out that there are sooooo many crazy scammers in China! So to give you a heads up and to those naive travelers like me, here is a list of those scams that I have found in other sites:
Hmm, this makes me all the more scared to go around. This has been my third time in Beijing and the past two visits had been okay since I had a colleague with me. This time around, I was alone, I did not look anything Chinese, can’t speak Mandarin (I truly regret not taking my classes seriously), so I was an easy target.
Nevertheless, I am grateful that it was all that I shelled out for a con artist. I am ever so glad that I was not part of any of those more serious ones that I cited above.
Lesson learned for RMB100. Hope you won’t fall into this trap and yeah, don’t trust a helping hand all the time.