Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Magic Words

Today we went to the Pearl Market looking for a mini DVD player so we can start watching all the Chinese movies we're snatching up. It's all about the bargaining - hawkers started by quoting us 800RMB, and we couldn't seem to get anyone below 400, which was more than we wanted to pay.
Then we found a woman who got down to 400.
Could you make it a little cheaper? I asked her.
You speak Chinese, I wouldn't cheat you! She replied.
She offered to throw in a carrier case, we began to walk away.
390! She called.
370 I said.
Its only 20 dollars more, she said.
Then I remembered the last advice James' sister gave me before we came to the mainland: Make sure you say, "Be a friend!" My mom's friend always does that and she always gets the best price.
"Zuo yi ge pengyou."
The lady laughed and exchanged looks with her colleagues. She gave us our price. I don't like bargaining, but it's really satisfying to walk away successful. Thanks, Ellen!

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