Saturday, 28 May 2011

Holiday Snaps: The best price is resistance

Making friends

Sometimes, I find myself somewhere between genuine interest and intriguing curiosity with the prospect of being exploited the calibration on that meter scale.

Now, earlier I was at the Marmaris Castle, a topic to be covered in much detail later and there was a group of kids on an excursion who when they saw me wanted to take pictures.

At least two were forward enough to try out their basic knowledge of English and before you knew it, we had shook hands, my hand the less regal without gloves have made friendship bond with some 15 children who seemed to genuinely interested and all wanted to know my name and where I was from.

I asked for their names, made real pleasantness and asked if they were having fun, which I had to explain and then a chorus of yesses filled the air.

What you don’t want

There was no exploitation in the air though I was taken aback by the question from another kid about my age which simply revealed one of the basic questions in language you learn without making allowances for the fact that it is rude to ask adult strangers that as a second question of a conversation.

However, walking through Marmaris presents those opportunities, restaurateurs that offer food you are not hungry to eat and then they offer free drinks to draw you in for half-priced food, the bait is slung but resistance is key.

Politely, shake hands but don’t let it linger to the point that you are dragged into the lair, the touching should be sniffed at whilst maintaining a convincing smile and engaging in the idle banter.

What you don’t need

Through the bazaar, he asked if I remembered him in Vietnam to which I responded I had forgotten and then he said he was some captain and I noticed the leg he lost in ‘Nam had grown back.

They offered leather jackets and many to view but I could see enough from the street there was no need to go in and I was not in need of a leather jacket that was not in-laid with Kevlar. At half-price of whatever price, there was no deal for me and a lot for them – resistance had to be futile.

Turkish bangles are not what you dangle for bling, they are not necessarily Turkish though the handiwork of talented Turks but you have to be disinterested and without being uninterested, see the interesting without betraying interest or your end up with a gift that commands a price that you have to pay before you depart.

What cannot fly

Carpets and tapestries, cushions and blankets of legendary Turkish expertise but none fit my exacting specifications, beautiful as they all seem, they are not flying-carpets and so, I have nothing to buy and they have nothing to sell even if it going at half-price and less.

They do not persist for long and where one did persuade me to visit his restaurant to eat fish did did “My Way” the best he could offer was a drink and a haggle over the fish – I calmly told him to keep the fish, the long fish tales and bring the bill for the drink, friendly people who are not after what is in my pocket are probably the most likely to get some of what is in my pocket.

The best price is always resistance.

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