A Bargaining Education

For three of us, one of the liberating things about travelling with bags we are carrying ourselves is that it makes it very easy not to buy souvenirs. Not Declan, though. Inveterate consumer that he is, he is keen to buy souvenirs everywhere we go. He promises that he will carry every one.

Declan shows off his bone knife in Aswan
Declan shows off his bone knife in Aswan

That’s been quite a saga so far in Egypt and Jordan. In Cairo, he saw a gilded “bedouin” knife in the tourist market that he fell in love with. Our guide told us that we would find much better, and cheaper in Aswan. Sadly, the Aswan markets didn’t have anything sufficiently gaudy for him, and after a world champion bargain with the stall owner, he walked away empty handed.

Then he found a camel bone knife that he bought without any bargaining at all in sheer desperation, and we all thought that would be it.

But here in Petra, there are real Bedouin. And real, fake, Bedouin knives. So after we wandered around Petra for half a day, Declan didn’t manage to get the stall owner down at all and paid  5 Jordanian Dinar. Declan was too keen to get the price down any further, so he is now the proud owner of a reasonably authentic looking “silver” scabbarded Bedouin knife.

He’s spent the last day and a half drawing it out of its scabbard at every opportunity, and making scary looking poses with it.

Currencies necessary for this set of bargaining opportunities: Three – Euro (Granny’s Christmas Money), Egyptian Pounds, Jordanian Dinar
Total Spent: 10 Egyptian Pounds, 5 Jordanian Dinar (6.40 Euro)
Original Prices Quoted: 250 LE, 10 LE, 5 JD (38.20 Euro)

Declan practices saying no in Jordan
Declan practices saying no in Jordan

Declan’s learned quite a lot about economics, exchange rates, mental arithmetic and the ability to say no from this exchange.

I suspect we’ll be spending a lot on postage if he keeps learning at this rate, though.

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4 thoughts on “A Bargaining Education”

  1. Query : How lethal are these items, and how easily can the expert bargainer get them through the entry process back in this mostly peaceful land?

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