Saturday, June 5
I did my first bargaining yesterday.
It was raining and I need an umbrella. The streets were filled with women selling them off their heads. We stopped the first woman who walked by us, and she said a small umbrella was ¢7 (cedis, worth about $1.40. It’s pronounced like CDs but with an emphasis on the C instead of the D).
“Six,” Kelvin said.
That still seemed high to me. I said I thought it looked four, though I didn’t mind paying five.
The woman said she’d settle for ¢5.50, and I agreed. But neither of us had the right change, so I said not to worry about it, I was okay paying almost six. She smiled and looked very grateful.
I’m glad I was able to make her happy, because the 95 pesewas (pronounced pess-ways; like cents) probably meant more to her than they did to me. All the same, I opened my umbrella and felt a little cheated. It was flimsy, already wet, and faded yellow at the folds.
It’s a thin line with bargaining. I don’t want to deprive this woman of having dinner tonight, but then again I don’t want to be taken advantage of just because I’m a foreigner. I’ll have to find the right balance. Hopefully I’ll figure it out soon.