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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals


CHINA | Monday, 10 September 2007 | Views [532] | Comments [3]

I'm a terrible bargainer. I know it's hard to believe. I'm so forceful and assertive (bordering on aggressive) in life. Why shouldn't I be the same with money? But I'm not. It's even more surprising if you know my mom. She's the most amazing haggler I've ever seen. And she loves it. I hate everything about it, am intimidated by it, and am awful at it.

And, like most overachievers, if I'm bad at something, I'm not very likely to attempt it. But that is absolutely not possible in China. Children are born with a knowledge of numbers and how to squeeze every bit of worth out of every single bill. But I was not. And having a mother who loves and is successful at this particular activity did not help to foster my desire or ability.

When the people in the marketplace see me coming, they immediately think, "Jackpot." And I immediately think, "Yep." Whether they are trying or not, these people are getting much more of my money than they probably should, but I could care less. I'm not going to argue over three yuan (thats about 48 cents), even if I should.

And so my great failing at life is revealed. I'm loose with the funds. I throw around 20 yuan like it's nothing. I overpay for rice and walk away feeling satisfied. And I couldn't care less. (Please don't judge me, Mommy.)

Tags: Markets



I know what you mean. When we traveled to China in '97, I felt loose with the change as well. When you see people with so much less than you ever had growing up, it is difficult to be tight.
Tell me what you are doing besides writing and traveling.

  holly Sep 19, 2007 2:27 PM


witkowski. i miss you. i'm glad that you are doing well, and being economically raped by the less fortunate.

  gabe Sep 20, 2007 5:55 AM


The main thing to remember with haggling is walking away with the feeling that you are happy with the "deal" you made. If you are satisfied then it was a good deal, even if you realize that you might have paid too much. To me it is just a game, and you know how I like to win. But deep down I always remember (especially in a foreign country) that the money always means more to the seller!

  Your haggling mother Sep 22, 2007 9:37 PM

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