Thursday, April 16, 2009

...good price, good price...

Having spent a few days in Antigua, Guatemala this week, Mandy, my travel companion, and I decided to take a day trip to Chichicastinango. Chichicastinango is known as one of the largest outdoor markets in Central America, containing everything from bracelets to chicken feet. I am proud to say we only got scammed once...I think.

The market is huge and endless, but not with too much variety, so bargaining is key. After taking in one 'lap' of textiles Mandy purchased a purse. The purse is beautiful and we bargained the Señora down quite a bit; I'd say we won the bargain by 1Q (about 12 cents) , she seemed bitter. Anyway, at our next stop the saleswomen asked if Mandy had purchased the bag in the market and asked how much we paid. She kind of damped the mood when she said it would be worth less. That wasn't so dis-heartening and we continued shopping and bargaining all over the place. 
After a while we grew tired and hungry and stopped in at a café/ restuarant. We were very happily enjoying some coffee when a very friendly Guatemalan started showing us her fancy head wrap thing. It was pretty cool, yet the minute we showed interest she began wrapping my head in one of these little hand made band things. She then wrapped Mandy's head and we all talked about how it felt great and how beautiful they were.  The bad news came when we said we didn't have enough money to pay her price she was asking, which really did seem outrageous. Anywho, this all lead to a half hour debate of "no i really don't have that mandy quetzales (the currency here)'' and ''good price, this is a very GOOD price'' . In the end Mandy and I ended up purchasing two, very lovely, hand made, head wraps. We left the market looking like true locals (or major tourist, whichever extreme you prefer) and have really struggled at re-wrapping the band since. 

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