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Friday, July 2, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

Ok, call me paranoid but I have a theory.

In a nutshell, shopping over here is generally a pain in the ass.  Bartering and haggling is fine when you are on holidays but quickly become a real drag, and a huge time waster.  You never know in the end if you have successfully negotiated a good price or have been robbed blind (again!)  I know, I know, if you think it is a good price for what you get then it is a bargain, but I HATE getting ripped off. Whenever I enter the house with a new purchase without doubt the first question I am asked by Quyen and Lena is, "How much did you pay?"  Invariably, Lena always then says, "you paid too much".  Luckily, I can just smile at her and tell her to go and vacuum the floor.  Seriously, perhaps I should take her with me considering according to her I get ripped every time!  Usually I can tell from the vendors face if I have done ok.  If they are looking rather annoyed and won't smile at me then I think I have done an ok job.  Ben Tanh market is notorious for fleecing tourists (and I'm sure locals) alike.  I usually start at 1/3 of their asking price and am lucky if I pay half.  I will go up in price only twice and then just repeat and repeat it, all the while smiling of course.  I find it also helps to have the money in your's just too tempting for them.  Anyway, back to my conspiracy theory.  I reckon all the vendors are in on it.  They put your purchase in different coloured bags according to the type of purchaser you are ie: sucker or hard bargainer.  How else can you explain the picture I took of the bags below.  It all makes sense!  Sort of.  I guess it is good for them to know a sucker as they can automatically up the price.  My problem is, I have not figured out what coloured bag means what!  Am I a sucker or a good bargainer?  Perhaps I should follow "Merv and Pearl" from Florida around and see what colour bag they get?  Better still, my green Woolworths bags have been making an appearance lately....that'll scew 'em!


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