i give you two dollas for that woolly d'n'g bag

well just back from a week away in good aul sunny espana and i’ll admit, it was just a week of total over self-indulgence, tanning, pampering, sunning and strolling (though don’t be jealous, i have since been, and will be for the next week, chained to a desk trying to catch up on the strutural properties of concrete, developing, what i only know, will be chronic lifelong back pain). however, i did also scrub up a bit on some skills which i’m sure you’ll be interested in as you jet abroad over the upcoming months. and that is the art of haggling

while of course i am not a stranger to a spot of street haggling, or the more common beach vendors (often mistaken as simply giant logo embossed luitton bags or patent gucci wallets floating along the beach), my last encounter was slightly confusing and deterring. i wasn’t quite sure what to expect that time in florence, when, mid way through a sale, the kind gentleman selling me the knock-off prada a/w07 bag on the street, suddenly wrapped up the leather goods in the sheet they were sitting on, swung the makeshift sack on his back and took off around the corner with no explanation. it was only after the florentine police strolled passed the scene, that the vendor emerged from an alleyway to sell me the bag for a mere 15yoyos. leaving me slightly slackjawed and taken aback.

however, to cut to the point, my recent trip to the costa del sol was a more dignified venture into haggling, taking place amidst the shrieking and shouting debacle that is tivoli world theme park in fuengirola. rows of glistening tack and nafftastic goods lined the route to the ferris wheel, with bright eyed vendors sitting perched and ready to pounce behind their armour. the first line of attack was for the gold zipped, white patent louis vuitton purse/clutch, eyedballed by jenny for it’s pure tacky-chic spectacularness.

and so it began…we checked it out, decided a price, not more than ten yoyos we agreed. that will pay for the couple of uses you get for it before the zip inevitably falls off and the patent tears. ‘how muuch?’, we ask tentatively to the woman behind the stall. ’15euros’ she barks back. ‘ooh no no no’ we mutter. loudly.‘that is much too much…8?’. she laughs. we know this is too little but it’s the beginning to wearing her down. ’13’ she offers. we decline, and this cat and mouse game continues on until we tell her 10 is our final offer and we begin to turn our backs around. ‘yes yes. you pay ten euros‘. we smirk and as we handed over a twenty euros note we felt the surge of achievement, leaving us on a hagglers high and ready for whoever dared to sell us the next fashionable kitsch accessory.

the winning vuitton. the gold was purchased on the return journey. note-same tactics used

next up, some woven straw hats to protect those delicate irish locks in the spanish sun. jen tried on the hat. it’s a nice shape. good size. not too trendy but still to be commended in the fashion stakes. probably worth a fiver in a stall. yes we’ll keep the price down and see what we can get from the tanned and built vendor. again, ‘how muuuch?’ in slow and clear english to avoid any mistake in translation…‘or right dear. lav-ley in’t it. good size too for ya head. tis 2 euros only’, she sings in a cheery british accent. right. the hagglers high burst and, appreciating that we wholly misjudged that encounter and miscalculated the bidding, we hand over the 2euros and leave with the ‘lav-ley’ hat.

it a lav-ley hat. in'it?

so we continued to roam through the stalls, stealthily diverting from one vendor to another offering up single numbers as prices and seeing what we could get. a few blingtastic rings (3.50e each. a steal for some layered up glam), another of vuitton’s tacklicious treats and a copy of the april star magazine (which we haggled from 1.50 down to 1 euro. success) later, the marketers began to pack up and our morning of haggling was coming to a close. the final showdown was to be in the pursuit of a neat little black shoulder bag. nice leather woven detail. clean edges. a smart piece of shoulder candy. i ventured slowly over to the stand, not wanting to look too eager but having decided already that this bag was to be mine. ‘this bag?’ i say peering over the mountain of ‘leather’ to see who was in charge. a smiling reggae looking character, listening to some caribbean music and looking a little bit stoney eyed smiles over, ’10 euros, but for you 7′. i look at the bag. i could probably get it down to five. the man seems to be friendly enough anyways and i consider different approaches. but then i suddenly feel the drain of all the morning’s haggling and i think, it’s only 2euros. what the heck. ‘i’ll take it’.






7 oi-ros for some caribbean charm

so, no florentine policemen, some nafftastic accesories, and a somewhat heavier purse leaving than i expected. haggling in the costa del sol. grreat suc-cess

some gyp-see rings for future haggling occasions