Haggled Out

Monday, January 21, 2008

It has become a pleasant routine for me every Sunday to leave the house before the sun comes out (err maybe a bit later like 7:45am) heading out to the Pasar Tani at the Stadium. I dunno. Used to think it was a chore, now it's just a routine, complimented with my reward of ice-blended cappucino while blitzing the rows of stalls looking out for bargains, AFTER I stashed the haiwans and dauns in the car boots.


I'm a bad haggler. I just don't haggle hard enough. I just don't have a heart to do so.

So, last Sunday, I was shocked by this lady who's designer-designed hair and sunglasses defeats her demeanor. Lets call her LadyVogue. She looks like she drives nothing less than a see-Arr-Vee.

LadyVogue: "Berapa ni Pakcik?" *shoves her basketful of dauns*
PakcikTua : "RM 8.30"
LadyVogue: "RM 8 tak boleh ke pakcik?"
PakcikTua: "Tak boleh la nak. Tak banyak untung jual sayur ni."
LadyVogue: "Kalau macam tu, saya nak RM8 jugak la pakcik." *grabs the bag and pushes over RM8 genap and left the scene*
PakcikTua: *grins at me, obviously attracted by my terkejut eyes* "Manusia ni berbagai-bagai. Ada jugak macam ni"

Uish! Amenda la minah ni? 30 sen pun berkira ke ? Kalau beli ikan dekat RM50.30 tu lain la nak mintak 30 sen discount. Ni sayur la babe! Come on la. Geram betul aku! I betcha 30sen ain't gonna make that pakcik tua any richer and it sure won't make the LadyVogue any poorer. And I thought that's akin to STEALING. Man! She owes him 30sen. And that man looked at peace at such unfairly treatment.


My point is that. We can haggle but please pick your battle. What's the prize? 30sen?

So, I've affirmed my belief that i just suck at haggling and that's not because I'm not strong enough, nor am I argumentative enough and certainly not because of I-have-no-balls (err I don't), it's just that I don't believe in getting profits for someone else's misery. Especially if that's someone is being cornered to a wall.

Biarlah. Maybe they'll make a fortune out of me. Maybe not. But aku reda with what I pay for. Kalau orang nak tipu, orang tipu jugak. That's not my problem.

And there's another feature at the Pasar Tani. Vagrants and beggars. Oh! My! God! They look like the ones lining the streets leading to Chatuchak Market at Bangkok! I swear they do. Gosh! It's heart-breaking though to see these men and women with no legs, dragging themselves on a sheet of rubber. Children asleep on their mothers' lap and old men reading Quranic verses with hands held up and music from tuneless blind musicians. These days, I see a lot of more boxes for donations for MrY's eye operation at Hospital K, and for brothers and sons studying in Mesir and for building hostels and schools for the orphans.

I see this one forlorn looking midget (for lack of a better politically correct word) boy for the past 2 weeks and I saw that he was looking at a father with his son. I was saddened to think what he must be thinking. How different life was for him compared to that priviledged boy!

Are they for real? Should I give money to them and encourage them? Should I refrain to discourage them?

Who knows? I don't. But they sure play the emotion card well. They have my pity alright. So, I give them a ringgit or two and gets a smile. That's alright I thought, considering that ringgit is only 1/5 of the price of the iceblended in my hand.

Anyways. This is life. One day you're up there, maybe tomorrow you'll be kissing the floor instead. Who knows?

1 growls by fellow growlers ...:

Swahili said...

designer bits from Petaling kot? give her benefit doubt tho, would she haggle to the nearest hundred for her designer tote..

i miss the pasar tani likes, then roti canai and kopi tarik. adui..

Bonda Blabber