Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tai Gui La

Buying things on the street in China can be a hassle since you've got to haggle and haggle a lot. It's part of the fun though and a typical exchange goes something like this:

Seller: Hey, you want this hat? It'd look good on you! It's a great hat! BUY THIS HAT!

Me: Uhm, actually, no thanks. What about that lighter though?

Seller: YES! This lighter looks great on you!

Me: I want to use it.

Seller: Yes, sure whatever, you want two?

Me: No. Just one. How much is it?

Seller: 75 yuan.

Me: That's way too expensive!

Seller: But it's a great lighter! See? *demonstrates* It can light cigarettes!

Me: And my pen dispenses controlled amounts of ink upon many surfaces when I roll one end of it over said surfaces. So what? I'm not particularly impressed. How about a bit of a discount?

Seller: How about 70 yuan then?

Me: How about 10 yuan?

Seller: Are you kidding? It costs me more than that to get it in the first place. How about 50 yuan?

Me: 50 is far too expensive! Just give it to me for 10?

Seller: 35 is the lowest I'll go, but I'll also require your first born.

Me: No deal. How about 15? Take it or leave it. And no children.

Seller: Forget it, you're crazy.

Me: Alright, *starts to walk away* I can find some other place to sell that anyway...

Seller: How about 25 then? And forget your firstborn.

Me: Well if you're already at 25 why not 15? *gets out wallet*

Seller: *drools* You're going to bankrupt me! what about 23?

Me: *takes out a 20, a 10, and a 5* How about 35 for two? I'll buy two right now.

Seller: That's 17.5 for each! I can't go that low.

Me: *Offers money to seller* come on...35 is a nice number. I'll give you 35 right now and I'll take two lighters.

Seller: uhm....

Me: *offers*

Seller: *takes money* I don't know that's still...

Me: *takes the lighters* Thanks!

Seller: *mumble grumble mumble*

Me: 1. Seller: 0.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

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