Stragging and haggling

A half-decent weekend overall. Sunday was spent exulting over Schumacher equalising with Alonso in the F1 Championship standings (so I’m a geek, shoot me). Saturday was spent traipsing up and down (and up… and down) Green Street buying some sarees for my Asian Woman Extraordinaire arsenal. I also have to stock up on jewellery and even thought about buying a jewellery box (Kia Abdullah, you have been assimilated).At some point during my (third? fourth?) shopping trip to Green Street this month I realised that I no longer feel awkward walking into Asian clothes and jewellery stores. I no longer feel like I’m going to act like a fool (Q: Would you like that in a kabuli or chudidar? A: Uh, What’s a kabuli?), feel inferior for my inability to match shades of baby pink just-so or feel like I’m going to get screwed out of money on 300% mark-ups.

In fact, I have proven to be quite the adept haggler. I managed to get my price in all stores but one. This one involved getting into a gladiator-type battle of prides with a silver-tongued salesman complete with spectators and hecklers. It came down to a twenty pound difference. I was not willing to go any higher and he was not willing to go any lower. Eventually we decided to meet in the middle. “There we go. Neither of us lost our pride,” I commented. “It wasn’t about pride,” he replied. “I want to sell it to you more than you want to buy it.” I could not help but narrow my eyes and say, “I still think you got the better of me.” “No,” he replied immediately. “You got the better of me. Buy another saree and we’ll have another round.” I left with my pride intact but was not entirely convinced (Asif, you and I have a score to settle).

I have also developed a set of “haggle” statements (“Let’s not waste time, give it to me for fifty and I will hand you the cash right now,” “My sister’s getting married in two months. Give it to me for sixty and I will send my family here for the wedding shop.”) I haven’t used the “I’m a writer, I’ll tell the world you do great discounts,” line yet but who knows what I’ll stoop to? After all, now that I have been assimilated I may just start to enjoy it.

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