Still quite worth it…

… but I wish they hadn’t run off…

I was looking for an earring for my buddy Seong Hwan when I heard a couple of girls talking Korean in the shop I was in. They were trying to get the shop owner to tell them about pricing for shawls, related to percentge of wool, silk, and cashmere. One of them spoke pretty good English, but the other was having trouble, so I asked them if they were from Korea. We ended up spending 3 hours trying that shop and then another shop, where the taller girl had “befriended” the shopowner. He gave her a pretty decent price on shawls, so I decided to join in and we bought a whole bunch between us—they bought more than I did, but I did manage to find a nice earring for Seong Hwan while I was at it.

Then we introduced ourselves to one another: they were named Tae Hee and Su Jae, and hailed from Seoul. I was about to ask them if they were hungry when they check the time, apologized, shook my hand, and ran off somewhere. Ah well, McLeod Ganj is small enough that I may run into them again, which would be nice, because they were funny.

But I did (re-)learn from this encounter that Korean women know how to bargain. Tae Hee had already gotten a good price, but she pushed the shop owner for a little more off, until he was almost mad, before she eased up. She tried all kinds of tricks, asking for the earrings I bought free (no go), saying she might have to buy less if he didn’t discount more… she tried everything. It was a learning experience. And afterward, the guy still kept calling her friend, which makes me think maybe we didn’t get as good a price as possible, but anyway, I was happy with it.

I just wish they hadn’t run off. Maybe I’ll see a movie before I eat, to occupy myself in the space of time when we would have chatted. Hmmmm.

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