Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Economics of Fruit Buying

After calculating the odds, I've come up with a semi-formal way of thinking about the fruit buying process in India.

Consider a few facts first:

1. Most of the fruits i'm eating, I've never had before in my life, or have had so rarely, that I don't know how to pick them.

2. I do not live here, and do not stay in one place (most of the time) to build a relationship with any fruit vendor. Thus, he has no incentive to give me quality goods, and instead sees me as an outlet in which to dump crappy fruit.

3. I'm a foreigner, and thus, seen to be rich, and crazy and not business-smart by many Indians.

With that out of the way, let us calculate my chance of getting good fruit.

A. If I allow the fruit-man to pick out my fruit for me, I will almost always receive 100% bad fruit, as he is actively picking the worst ones for me.

B. If I pick randomly from his pile of fruit, depending on the ratio of good/bad fruit amongst his stock, at the least, I will do better than in case A (unless 100% of his stock is bad fruit). However, then I have to blame myself for the bad fruit that I pick out, and am robbed of the ability to blame the bastard fruitman for slipping me crappy fruit.

Oh, and in either case, I will certainly pay more than a local.. but this goes without saying.

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