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Splitting the bill - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Splitting the bill [Feb. 26th, 2008|12:49 am]
Arvind Narayanan
Hello world, I'm back! I guess I'm waddling into the blogging waters with this post before getting into my usual serious-minded writing :) My trip, for those of you who care, was incredible, and in a sense life-changing, but not blogging material.

I've been thinking about how people keep track of who owes whom (dinner, movies, whatever). I have friends who are totally relaxed about it ("don't worry about it, you can get dinner next time.") I have other, fewer friends who are meticulous ("so half of that is 12.95.. you got 5 cents?") Ok, I exaggerated there a little bit, but you get the idea. I'm definitely in the former category myself.

I can't help wondering though.. is there anyone reading this who's in the second group? What's your justification? Also wondering if this correlates with personality types? Cultural/ethnic background? Just speculating :)

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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-02-26 10:20 pm (UTC)
care to elaborate? people getting free rides? or did someone take offense?
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[User Picture]From: skthewimp
2008-02-26 08:20 am (UTC)
i used to be of the second type
till some 4 yrs back

of course, i wouldn't settle things immediately. say we went on a long trip. i'd make a mental note (sometimes use paper also) of who spent how much and stuff. and on the last leg i'd make people settle

now that you ask, i'm trying to figure out why i wsa like that. maybe i ws just more careful with my money. and didn't want to offend people. and i had this feeling that "it's my parents' money. not mine. so should be careful"
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-02-26 10:19 pm (UTC)
yeah, it's funny how i almost totally lost respect for money once it was my own money and not my parents' :) these days, as long as i'm not bankrupt it's just a number to me, nothing more.
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[User Picture]From: haran
2008-02-26 09:03 am (UTC)
Aarg. This is one of those things I always find terribly awkward. Probably more than it ought to be.

By nature, I fall into the first group. I make a conscious decision to be more informal on money issues.

I don't think there's any cultural or ethnic correlation in there. (At least I haven't seen it).
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From: kupamanduka
2008-02-27 04:12 pm (UTC)
I think many of my elderly relatives grew up in poverty and hence they were in #2.

Some of that got rubbed on to me ( predominantly from my mother, I think ).

Now I am mostly in #2 with guys I am not comfortable with and #1 with others - like Ravi said above. Some leftist-types guilt sometimes puts me in #2 w.r.t. not wasting money ( to people/organizations ) - with regards to specific events.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-02-27 09:03 pm (UTC)
yeah, that's a good point.. there's a lot about my parents for instance that doesn't make sense unless you keep in mind that they grew up in relative poverty.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-28 06:46 am (UTC)
I don't think it's poverty; it's a cultural thing. The American environment encourages you to be more liberal with money, spend more, drive the economy etc. :P
(Scarcity mentality, abundance mentality?)
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-02-28 08:37 am (UTC)
i'm sorry, anonymous person, i was stating facts about my family, and you.. have a different opinion?
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-02-28 10:42 am (UTC)
oops, ignore that, i misread your comment :)
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From: kupamanduka
2008-02-28 01:49 pm (UTC)

Such attitudes change according to economy


Read about the statement there on American parents.

Then go read in Meghaduta the praise of the city Alaka for mansions touching the clouds, in Mahabharata the praise of Indraprastha's ( and other places' ) opulence, in Ramayana the glorifications of Ayodhya and Lanka. Or at least have a look/read about the grandeurs of south Indian temples - hampi, tanjAvUr etc.

Books like manusmriti recommended sort of poverty to Brahmins and of course saints so that they might lead an austere life. But ancient Indian ideals weren't the pastoral elysium" that gAndhiji or Thomas Jefferson wanted.
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From: kupamanduka
2008-02-28 01:57 pm (UTC)
And for the record my paternal grandmother's family used to waste tons of food. All of a sudden on a random day a mahout would come with an elephant to the house, and *both* the elephant and the mahout would be fed ( elephants eat really a lot, in case you didn't know ). As the family became poor they still tried to continue that life style and ended up having debts with most of the local provision stores. My point is that the overall well-to-do-ness distribution affects such "cultural" values.
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