There's a new day spa in Tirana, apparently very beautifully decorated and with very high standards of service. When I heard about it coming many months ago I was thrilled and looked forward to going there for manicures and pedicures etc. It would be especially nice for me since it's just around the corner from my house. I could hardly wait for it to open. Well it opened at the end of December and over coffee one morning my friends and I chattered away about our plans to go check it out ourselves.
That is until one of the ladies hesitantly said she had heard rumours about the place- quite nasty things were being said. Things like the staff (brought over from an Asian country) were being mistreated. Passports taken away. Salaries not being paid. Conditions sounding quite like slavery or trafficking, don't you think?
So what to do? Would you go? After all, so far the story is all rumours and we haven't heard or seen any concrete evidence. Would you boycott? Would you be very vocal about the unethical treatment of women? Would you go but not tell anyone you went?
It's interesting to me- I have three friends- a American, a Romanian, and a Dutch woman- who all vehemently state that you will NEVER catch them in this place. NEVER. And I have three other friends- a Romanian, an American, and a Canadian- who regularly make appointments there. So we can't say that our decisions are based on our cultures, but somewhere along the way, we make decisions about situations like this one. What makes one woman decide that it is okay, and another decide that it is not? So far the story is based on rumour, but how can we find out the truth? What is truth in this situation? Should one of us make an appointment and go there with the purpose of asking the staff how they are being treated? Would they tell the truth or would they maybe exaggerate in order to get sympathy and perhaps a bigger tip? And then what do we do with the information? Perhaps a visit to the owner of the spa with direct questions is the thing to do?
I've decided not to use this spa, but still, knowing what I do, is it enought to not give them my business?
What would you do?
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