Some of my best relationships have occurred while I have been shopping in a souk. Like dating, the art of bargaining can be a wonderful or horrendous experience -- one that has left me with my fair share of both disappointments and marriage proposals. Good bargaining is like good flirting: it's a game where the winner can potentially take all.
Main image courtesy of Billy Farrel, Billy Farrel, Assouline
Your goal is to buy whatever you are lusting after for half of the opening price. If this means you also have to agree to drink a cup of tea while hearing about the merchant's unmarried brother in New Jersey, so be it. In all my years of shopping I have never met a souk I did not love for at least a few hours. Just remember to keep an open mind and an open heart; after all, this is not just skipping off to the mall. You are about to perform an ancient ritual whose principles are deeply entrenched in the local culture. So go ahead and relax, be polite, and remember: regardless of what happens, never pay more than half of the opening price. Enjoy!
December 04, 2013
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