Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Three haggles

We went to Friday Market (open 24/7) toward (in?) Fujairah yesterday, to pick up a rug and a majlis. Or at least, in hopes of picking up a rug and a majlis. (A majlis is an Arab-style floor couch.)
Friday market is in the middle of nowhere. You're driving through some low mountains and then you turn a corner and it's there. You can get plants, souvenirs, carpets, toys, and all kinds of fresh, locally grown fruit there. It's open any day, any time of day.

 We chose to go to Friday market for a rug because we wanted a really BIG rug.

And we knew that Friday Market had really big rugs. However/also, you negotiate your own price at Friday Market.

I really enjoy haggling when I don't really care about the object I am trying to procure. It's less fun when you really want the thing you're aiming for because the vendors always figure you out and try to get more money out of you. I will say, however, that Jeremy and I have really relaxed about haggling compared to a few years ago. The truth is, the money means more to the dude from Afghanistan working in a roadside stall in June in the UAE and sleeping in a metal hut in back of the roadside stall, than it means to us. Also, the idea of haggling is that you pay a price you're both willing to meet. So if you pay what it's worth to you, there's no such thing as a bad deal.

Anyway, we haggled with three separate dudes. The first guys were nonchalant and rolled out rug after rug after rug for us and listened carefully to our size and color specs. Of course we wanted to look around at other stalls so we went back and forth on prices and settled on a final price before we left. The best feeling - and we had it at that moment - is walking away from a potential sale with a good price on the table, and having the vendor agree to let you walk away. That way, you know for a fact he's not going to go any lower and you have something concrete to compare future items to.

The next guy was a total jerk. He showed us lots of carpets and then, when we told him we wanted to go look around at other stalls, got really offended. He actually bagged up one carpet that we had expressed mild interest in and tried to have one of his minions insert it into our car. I locked the door from the key fob before he could get there. As the guy got even more jerk-y, and as his minion kept his hand on our trunk door, I really quickly unlocked the front doors so Jeremy and I could get in, and then locked the doors again so he couldn't load the carpet in the trunk. Yeesh. We kind of liked the carpet, but we didn't like the hard sell. The guy came down on the price a lot, by the way, but we were so soured on the experience that we left.

At the last stall we visited, we were looking for a majlis couch. These guys (all of these workers are from Afghanistan, by the way) were totally laid back. One of them had a green eye and a blue eye that looked pretty neat. We bought a majlis set from them with minimal drama and we were on our way...

...back to the first guy, to buy the rug we got an acceptable price on. Hooray!

Dedicated to running

Funny things said by Magdalena

Funny things said by Magdalena