2 of the more socially accepted norms here are telling lies, and borrowing money. I would have thought it takes a shameless person to tell lies unreservedly, but it’s so common here that truth holds no meaning.
Telling lies is considered perfectly fine because of their Buddhist philosophies to avoid confrontation. It really frustrates me because of how ridiculously their lies can be sometimes. It’s like they are taking me for a 3-year old. It takes a lot of patience and tolerance to understand their principles behind it and how they’ve spent all their lives doing the same thing anyway. One incident that happened recently was when plates started to go missing from my office pantry and I knew without a shadow of doubt that a fellow co-worker was the culprit behind it. She was obviously too lazy to wash the plates after using, so I don’t know where she hid/threw the plates away. I confronted her about the missing plates, and she told me “I think students steal.” Seriously? Students stealing plates from the teacher’s office pantry? Maybe an animal would believe that, but certainly not me.
Then, about borrowing money, usually I would be quite embarrassed to ask someone for financial help. Here, it’s normal for people here to take loans from the government, from banks, from superiors, or from friends. Loans from banks are, after all, easily approved. (Even my mobile service provider allows loans for pre-paid services.) I guess this is the reason why despite their low incomes, they are able to afford high-end luxury goods or purchase the latest electronic gadgets.
I have to say that people borrowing money from me actually works out in my favor (provided they return it, of course).
I have a few hundred bucks floating around on loan and I really don’t press them to return me, because this is the only way I get to save money. If I keep all my money with me, it takes a lot of self-control to curb my spending and I don’t have the discipline for that.
Making the best out of situations here, perhaps?