Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hagglin' like a mo fo.

Welcome Khemarint and Monique. I'm hoping you're the Monique I know in Dominica, and I'm hoping that Khemarint is someone really really cool. We'll count you as two people so that our tally is now 14 followers! We are all the coolest!

Prices are flexible in Dominica. It's the way things go here: people see you're white, assume you're a student, assume you have lots of cash, and charge you more than they should. You're supposed to come back with a counter-offer, but I have zero experience with this, and thus far have pretty much always accepted the grossly inflated price. Really, in the end, the difference is so marginal by Canadian standards that I let it go. Plus I suck at confrontation. Here and there I've gotten better - for instance, a week ago I haggled for a pineapple, bringing the price down from 12EC (4.50 CDN) to 10EC (3.75 CDN). Ballsy.

This is very much like when I haggled with the pineapple lady.

But this weekend was a milestone. The campus was holdings its "Arts and Crafts" fair, held once a semester. Generally that term is reserved for crappy pieces of make-it-yourself nonsense, but for this event there was genuinely awesome, locally made stuff. One of the things I bought, which I can't name because it's a Christmas present, was priced at 150EC. I really wanted to get it. With gravitas, I inquired if 130EC was ok with the vendor.

"Yeah sure," he said, in his laid-back Caribbean accent.


I secured the item, handed over the cash, and scurried over to Denise to brag about it. There I was, a twenty dollar bill heavier than I might have been if I was a lesser man. But I wasn't. And so I'm ballin'.

But then Denise used my money to buy other stuff.

So now I'm poor again.


  1. i need to grow some balls like you, apparently. I'm always a sucker and pay the price they say.

  2. p.s. could you go into your blogger comment settings and turn off the ridiculous "type this word in so we know you aren't an alien" biz-naz. pretty please? it's annoying!

  3. Done. Thanks, didn't even know I could turn it off. This is amazing!

  4. hahaha thank youuuu katie! lol
    ps mark, ballsy. you're becoming a confrontational man! but i never doubted it after i saw you beating people up while playing ball hockey.. jus sayin'..

  5. Again, I apologise for almost hitting you in the face with one (or two) stray shots. Srry!

  6. haha, yeah I'm learning too. I am not afraid to haggle down the prices and YES, we are poor students, lol. Well, i am anyways!! But i do take my Kam's money from time to time:)

  7. I will teach you to haggle when you come home for Christmas. I LOVE haggling.

    I ask for discounts all the time, even here at home. It works all the time, you just have to think to yourself, "It doesn't hurt to ask!"

  8. Monique - I know, it's a strange fact, but we are actually far poorer than everyone else on this island. Still, I feel guilty fighting over costs when the difference is so small to me.

    Andrea - show me your ways. I'm getting better, but need to improve. A friend of mine here told me that his father haggled a walmart staffer over the price of a pie! I have a long way to go.