The shameless bargainer

The lady in one store in Bali was a perfect rogue. I wanted to buy something, but she quoted a price which was very high - 30,000 rp. I said to her, “7,000.”

She looked at me very nicely and said, “All right, 19,000 - no less.”

I said, “I won’t pay 19,000. I will give you 8,000.”

Then she said, “17,000.” I took one step backwards and she said, “15,000.”

I said, “No, 8,000 is enough!” and I started walking away. After I took seven or eight steps, she called out, “14,000!”

I said, “I am not going to come to your price.”

Finally she said, “All right, all right — 8,000!”

In my mind I had been willing to go up to 10,000, but she accepted 8,000. So from 30,000 I shamelessly brought her down to 8,000. If they ask for 30,000, who else would dare to say 8,000?

— 28 December 1990