Mexico Rocks!

Thursday, November 20, 2008 Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I was nominated "chief haggler" when we went to Mexico today. I was doing a grand job of bargaining with the street hawkers but my conscience pricked me a bit when I talked one man down from $27 to $6 for a pair of sterling silver necklaces. I wondered if he was walking away muttering angrily because he didn't get to scalp me or because he was felt like he was scalped. Whatever the reason, I felt bad that maybe I had paid too little... or not..?

These feelings did not last long. My sister-in-law and I walked down Avenida Revolucion looking for a dress for P. One man stood out in front of us, (as they do) opened his arms wide and boomed, "My turn! You come to my shop! Everything only $2! Come in!"
So, we obediently followed him in and found a pretty little dress that P tried on. "Is it really only $2?" we asked.
"Of course! Everything is $2! Look around! I have lots of lovely things!"
Wow... ok.
Then we go to pay for the dress. "That will be $24."
WOT? "You just said everything was $2!"
"I did not. I said that everything was $2 OFF! You did not hear me."
To her credit, S didn't call him a very bad name, but instead walked toward the door telling him she didn't want the dress anymore.
I, on the other hand, was incensed! "You (sir) are a LIAR (and a cad)." Then we left pretty quickly with him still trailing us with offers of reduced prices. "My brother next door will sell you the same thing for $4 more... where are you from? ahh, you are my neighbour... I remember you! Come on... come back!"

I know that times are tough but resorting to such tactics creates bad feelings between vendor and customer and taints all the honest vendors (if there are any?). However, it is true that Tijuana is a unique place where locals bend the rules and think of interesting ways to part you from your money. According to some people, this adds to it's appeal.

In the end, we bought a lovely dress for $7 in the marketplace. We felt good about the price and the girl who sold it to us was happy enough. A bargain.

What I learned from this: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (obviously I need to learn this more than once!) and "No. Gracias." is the best response even if you have to say it more than twenty times to the sad faced man who has followed you, pleading, for the last three blocks.

0 brilliant observations: