Although I came away with a beautiful dress, my first attempt at haggling in Bangkok’s floating markets was pretty shit.
I stuttered… My big staring eyes made it quite obvious I had no idea what was going on as she punched numbers into a calculator and screamed ‘Buy…BUY’ at me, and as it turns out, I had the exchange rate completely wrong in my head the whole time anyway. So when I saw some authentic Thai Boxing shorts for the boy, I figured this would be my time to shine.
The four foot, 15 stone, Thai lady running the stall didn’t seem any different from any of the other owners when she started ridiculously high with 850 Bahts (£17)…
I started at 100 (£2).
What I didn’t expect was the raucous laughter that followed…not only that but she looked over at her mates on the stall next door who, following suit, also burst into hysterics.
Not only were they practically bend double laughing (or ROTFLing if you’re under 16 and probably a ‘beliber’) but some of them were actually pointing at me whilst they laughed – talk about ganging up on someone. Trust me to find the feistiest little Thai in the market to try to win my haggle queen crown with. She typed her revised amount into the little calculator; 800 Baht (£16).
She was quite obviously having a laugh, they were pretty amazing, but not that amazing… so I joined in her game. I looked at the calculator, looked at her… looked back at the calculator and burst into this, really horrible, fake banshee laughter.
Imagine Janice from friends… on smack.
As I was holding my stomach and wiping the fake tears from my eyes, my Dad came over and joined in.
Now I had a wing man – even if he did sound like Woody woodpecker.
After 20 minutes of haggling back and forth; punching ever more stupid amounts into the calculator, cries of “Robbery, daylight robbery” and so much fake laughter I came away with jaw ache, we finally agreed on 220 bahts (just over £4) – pretty impressive don’t you think?
Even as I handed the money over she was giggling away and trying to carry on the game whilst stroking my Dad’s arm. I think she wanted to shag fancied him – bit awkward.