I left Dalat Vietnam a few weeks ago to take a quick trip to go north and visit Hoi An and Nha Trang. Before I left I gave my Laundry to the hotel I was staying at. They quoted me a price per kilogram but didn’t have a scale and couldn’t tell me how much it was going to be in total. I came back to Dalat and got my laundry. It was a more than 200,000 VND, about $10 USD.
I was mad. My lack of sleep from the long bus rides and lack of lunch didn’t help. $10 doesn’t sound like a lot. But in Dalat, that is my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two days. Or $10 is two days housing. This is what I thought I lost.
Half the day I thought about this laundry. Was it worth it? In Bali, it was only $2. Were they taking advantage of me? How much do other laundry places in town charge? Then I thought: What would make me feel better? I want my laundry so returning it wouldn’t make me happy.
I remembered that the older woman I gave my laundry to gave me a rice cake that they eat for special occasions. She wanted me to have one. I also remembered that I had been staying at the hotel for a while and would know the people wow did my laundry. I also saw that the next closest laundry place would have been a 15-minute walk. I felt better. I was focusing on what I gained from that $10. I gained a friendship, a close service, and a special rice cake.
I felt so happy that I got all of these things for just $10. I no longer felt mad or taken advantage of. I was glad. When we think about how bad something we often don’t think of the positives, the silver linings or the unseen advantages. Just asking what we got instead of what we lost can make us change how we see something and make us happier. Try it out.