Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's okay to be nosey!

You need some headphones. You head off to your local Walmart/Target, make your choice and put them in your basket. No strangers come along, lean into your cart and peer in at the choices you've made. That's North America for you. We all keep to ourselves!

In Niger, on the other hand, it's okay to be nosey. It just so happened today that I was interested in purchasing some headphones so I stopped at the local electronics cart and inquired about headphones. All he was selling were the Air France special with two prongs (and just in case you've been spending your whole life searching for them, you could also buy Air France's matching eye covers - crack me up!) Well, he didn't have any single prong ones but he was more than willing to go search them out in the market. Another great thing about living don't necessarily have to do the work of searching. Let me insert here that he pretty much left his cart unattended...maybe the people sitting near by would have prevented any thefts, I don't know. Any how, he returned and the bargaining began. This is when the nosey tomato seller stepped up to the plate. We named our price and the vendor exclaimed "Albarqua!" (Not sure of the spelling of that basically meaning are you crazy.) So then Tomato Man tells him that he needs to lower his price which he does. Then we higher ours a bit and Tomato Man encourages him to meet us in the middle somewhere, pretty much taking over the bargaining. Finally, we agree but wait to see two pairs of what we are purchasing. So while the vendor runs off to get the second pair, Tomato Man decides he's entitled to a bit of negotiation too because of course, we want tomatoes to go along with our headphones! Two pairs of headphones and one kilo of tomatoes later, we're on our way home with a lesson in how being nosey sometimes pays off.


  1. Oh Beth!


    It sounds like you are doing great!


  2. Your stories are great! I'm enjoying reading them!

  3. you mean you don't keep every piece of the little sack of goodies the AF stewardess hands you at the beginning of each flight? my kids do... all 8 of them!


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