I ran into a young man and indicated with my fingers to my mouth and while rubbing my belly that I was hungry. He joined me to the my hut and prepared a meal out of some rice and something that looked like a crossing between a carrot and aspargus. Despite the ‘acquired taste’ I wolfed it down.
After we sat down in silence and enjoyed each other’s company I decided to give them some money as a sign of gratitude for feeding me. They looked surprised, but happily accepted the gift.
Afterwards I regretted giving them money for something that they would have given me for free. It felt like I turned their friendship/hospitality into a transaction. Kind of like paying your partner for a kiss. The idea is good: rewarding somebody for appreciated behavior, but everybody feels instinctively that it is ‘wrong’. I wonder what I should have done differently. I thought about contributing to a ‘village fund’ or to the local school, but that wouldn’t have rewarded these specific persons. I didn’t have any objects on me to give to them. Difficult.