I’ve Got What You Need!

I’m sure that title is going to get your attention! *grin* I know, I’ve been missing on here, and I promise this is one blog that I plan to keep going for as long as I’m out here (and for as long as God gives me life). The last week has been a myrid of adventures of sorts, what with my lone expedition on the Egyptian metro system – more about that later!

“So, what’s been going on, Londoner?”

Well, since you asked, I visited Cairo’s best known location for foreigners to get ripped off. Yup, that’s right – I went to Khan el-Khalili.

“Why?”

Because it’s such a buzz to be amongst shoppers trying to get a bargain, and I must say that I left smiling from one side of my hijab to the other! *nods*

I’ll give you the condensed version: I went with a work colleague on a pre-planned expedition to the infamous bazaar, although we hadn’t planned to go so late in the day – almost sundown. But it proved to be the best time, really, because it seemed more exotic at night (yup, I’ve been before in the daytime). The bling on the belly-dancing outfits were more… well… bling! I wanted to punch the eye of a seller of such ‘fashions’ when he said he had my size. But, alas, I’m not that kinda girl!

We interweaved between stalls of so-called original papyrus (*slits eyes in suspicion*) and ‘relics’ – it was all very amusing, really, but we walked on by with smiles that read ‘Real. Sure.”

My first haggling success was at a jewellry stall manned by a boy no older than 12, and when I asked how much a pair of earrings were he quoted 20LE. I switched into drama queen mode, hit my hands on my chest as though in pain and said, “20?!” And then relaxed and simply stated, “7”. He stared at me with just as much shock and shook his head. I picked up the earring and said once again, “7”, to which he replied “18”, and it went a little like this:

“7”
“15”
“7”
“12”
“7”
“10”
“Okay!”

*grin* I’m good, aren’t I? 50% discount without much work. And so was the case at a scarf stall, where I haggled from a quote of 80LE to 25LE. See why I love going? It’s slightly addictive.

After a few more purchases we just stuck to strolling and as we absentmindedly stood outside a clothes stall of some sort, a little boy exclaims, “Listen! I’ve got what you need!” We were shocked, because he had thrown his arms out to the side in such a theatrical spectacular, that you would have thought he was performing on cue! I laughed and asked, “What do we need?” and it was clear that he hadn’t rehearsed that part at home, ‘cos he stalled and asked in a rather shaky voice, “Galabaya?”

Fail!

We laughed and strolled on by. I would still sign him up to drama school though, he was good!

– The Londoner

p.s. I have pictures to upload, but the internet has decided to be a party-pooper tonight, and won’t comply. But watch this space for some gaterrific snaps! (pun intended, and you’ll know what I mean when the pics are up! *grin*)

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About LaYinka Sanni

Editor & Writing Coach -- "... connecting dots, one sentence at a time..."

Posted on October 25, 2010, in Ruminations about Cairo. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I find haggaling in India addictive too!
    when I go again inshallah, Im really gonna go down hard – and find the bargins 😀 hehe

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