Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bargaining Madness

Bargaining is not for the faint of heart. I am just not good at it. Never mind the fact that I am not a shopper, never mind the fact that I am horrible at negotiating. It is being accosted by craft stall owners trying to sell their wares that gets to me. I have learned that the best way to bargain is to subtly let Dan know what I want, and let him do the work.

Today we took a team from our home church in California over to Hartbeespoort Dam to do some shopping. I needed to get a wedding gift for some people back home, so I asked Dan to do my dirty work. In the process, I lost him. I looked everywhere for him, and despite the fact that redheads stick out in South Africa, I still couldn't find him!

About this time Dan phoned me on my cell phone, asking me where I was. "Well...I'm at the stall with all the wooden carvings." This was not helpful, because there are hundreds of identical stalls, but what was I supposed to say? So I tried another tactic: "I'm at the stall near the entrance with the giant giraffe carving."

Suddenly five craft stall workers were in my face. "Giraffe? You want a giraffe? I will give you a special price, madam, just for you."

(HELP!!!!! Dan, where are you???)


The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

Haha! My sister's lived in SA all her life, and she still made me do the bargaining when we went to the African Market in Rosebank. 'R80.00 Madam, special price!' they say 'Erm... ag, okay...' she says weakly. And then they seem offended when she doesn't want to bargain!

Rian said...

So much to comment on here :)

1) What's the name of your home church in California? NorCal or SoCal?

2) I LOVE Harties -- such a beautiful place.

3) Jess (my wife) had a lot of difficulty with the bargaining too -- she insisted I paid full price. No matter how much I explain to her that it's not how it works, and that it's part of the process, she just doesn't feel it's fair to them. Bless her heart :)

An American in Pretoria said...

NorCal, about 90 minutes east of San Francisco. Big Valley Grace Community Church.

Dan grew up in Ecuador, so he's a seasoned bargainer. He says the guys are actually offended if you DON'T bargain. I don't know....

Rian said...

What a small world! We go to WestGate Church in Saratoga (San Jose). Just around the corner :)

An American in Pretoria said...

That IS a small world! We love San Jose - so many museums and fun things to do.

Where in South Africa did you live?

Rian said...

I grew up in Stellenbosch. The most beautiful town in the world. But I might be a little bit biased :)

An American in Pretoria said...

No, because we have good friends from Stellenbosch, and my friend from Jo'burg who lives in California now went to university in Stellenbosch, en hulle stem almal saam.

I must see for myself one day!