Sunday, August 24, 2008

Selling, buying and negotiating

Cox's Bazar is where people go to shop and we indulged. Naheed, it turns out, is an amazing bargainer. Now, we knew we had to be fronted by a Bangladeshi because prices for tourists automatically go up -- by a lot. But she is so ferocious a negotiator that I thought at least one clerk was going to cry -- or kill her. (See clerk in top photo who opened up about 16 rolls of material before she found one she liked and then bargained him down to wholesale price.) The jewelery salesman in the second picture was extremely aggravated by her after she got him down to like $8 on a string of pinkish pearls and then declared that if he was willing to sell them that cheap they must be plastic. He dramatically lit a candle and thrust the pearls into the flame to show that they did not melt. She then bought them.

Fish and especially dry fish is a huge ingredient in Bangladeshi diet so shops are filled with a mind-boggling array of specimens. Very colorful.

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