Monday, April 21, 2008

Buy from Meeeeeeeeeee

Come to Asia and you expect to haggle and be hassled by street hawkers. Don´t like it, don´t come.
But you never really know the local specialties.

Yep, we got got by the pineapple woman of Hanoi who chats and playfully puts her load on your shoulder and hat on your head, and then quite aggressively wants payment. ¨How much did she get YOU for?¨ some fellow Oz travelers asked. Mmm well - it was a pretty expensive pineapple.

image: sridgway

Up in Sapa the Black H´mong are skilled traders. The women arrive from their village in the early morning by bike and walk the streets armed with pretty much identical gear for sale - average quality shoulder bags, earrings etc. The young girls are very astute and have excellent memories and English. After two days we were hearing ¨Robyn!¨ called out from across the street.

¨Buy from ME!¨ is the accompanying tune. If you do, youŕe in for it.... ¨You buy from her!¨ ¨Buy from me!¨ How many shoulder bags can one tourist own : )
Of particular interest are the newbies to town who unknowingly pull a wallet from their bag or stop to look. Eagle eyes are watching and are waiting to converge!

The trick? Keep your sense of humour, be prepared to support the local economy, but be astute.

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