In Dar es Salaam, we have had a few slow days, while we waited for a local church to do the prep work for a chlorine generator, that we hope to put in at the end of the week. To fill the time, we took a day and went to a local market place. It was like the original World Market only cheaper and more authentic. In Africa, outside of an actual mall, they haggle over everything. EVERYTHING. This market was no exception and because we are mzungus the prices started extra high. What they didn't know, however, is that we knew all of this and were prepared. I'm afraid we left quite a few African salesman a little disappointed. Although, it can be somewhat of an overwhelming experience, since they yell at you constantly throwing out prices before you even walk into the booth. I began looking through stacks of canvases in one shop and after that everywhere I walked by they would pull me into their shops showing me every painting they had and desperately trying to figure out what I was looking for. While I haggled over paintings, Phoebe led a determined expedition to find turkish pants. Kenny, our driver, seemed very impressed with our bargaining skills.
^^^ Phoebe shopping for the just the right pair of pants.
Phoebe and I stopped to look at earrings in one booth and the men working, or hanging around, started asking us questions.
"Where are you from?"
"What's your name?"
"Are you Married?"
"no." I answered.
"I dont understand"
"Not yet?" They all laughed, looking confused (or at least pretending to be)
Behind me Phoebe replied with a smirk, "If you ever meet an American man, then you will understand."
They roared and we left.
^^^ Kenny, our faithful and attentive driver/handler.
I spent at least twenty minutes haggling with some poor man over these three painting. I laughed and shook my head with the first price he threw out and he looked like he was going to have a stroke at mine. Eventually I landed on a price I liked but he wouldn't go lower, so I started to leave telling him I would have to think about it. He called me back in a panic wanted to know how much I would pay right then and not leave. He shook his head no at the price I suggested and set a price in the middle, I walked out to "ask daddy" and returned with the amount I wanted to pay, after a few more min he shook his head and rolled my paintings for me in newspaper.
^^^ I finished The Old man and the Sea on the plane over to Tanzania, finding this piece felt a little bit like fate.
^^^ wooden and bone earrings
^^^ Phoebe's spoils: Turkish pants.
On our way out of the market we passed a shop with a great, slightly worn brown and blue leather bag hanging inside. Phoebe asked the woman sitting near by how much for the bag. They haggled for a minute and Phoebe walked away, without it. Quickly the woman called her back and agreed to Phoebe's price. She then opened the purse and started pulling all of her personal items out! Phoebe literally bought the bag off the woman's shoulder.