a view into the sordid life i lead

Sunday, February 27, 2005

shopping spree

sunday feb 27 we spent at green point market. this is a large outdoor market near the stadium in capetown, in an area called, amazingly, green point. basically this is the african flea market - seems like people from all over africa come here to hawk their wares, mostly to tourists but also to locals. so there stuff ranging from carved giraffes to tennis shoes and underwear. we decided on the seemingly smart strategy of scouting the entire stretch, getting a rough idea of prices for the things we wanted to buy, then go figure out what we were willing to pay for it over a cup of coffee, then come back and haggle. the other side of this equation is that this gives the people in the stalls an opportunity to scope us out, figure out what we'd be willing to spend, and milk us for all we were worth. reasonably fair game, i'd say :-)

it's hard to say who wins in the haggling wars, but as long as both parties leave feeling that they suckered the other one it's a good day. i think we accomplished that. we thought we got great deals (but found out a few days later that it's about average), and the hawkers probably thought they fleeced us (and we thought we got away pretty well).

green point market occurs only on sundays. but during the week, a similar outdoor market exists at green market square. we figured teh once-a-week gig would yield a better opportunity for price negotiation. probably not really tho' :-) plus we could have saved ourselves from some serious african heat had we just done the daily markets! ah well, things you find out after the fact!

i have to say that the markets have some great art and crafts. i just wish i had a bunch more cash and a way to have all the stuff shipped home, instead of having to carry it all in hand. as it is we had 4 bottles of wine we had to deal with, and adding a bevy of masks, paintings, and assorted african kitsch would only add to my being the packmule. not that i'm complaining, but sometimes it's nice to travel light.

we spent the better part of the afternoon at green point market, and then passed out from the exhaustion of heatstroke and hardcore haggling.


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