We visited several market places while we were in Egypt. The markets were pretty much set up as I imagined they would be. Both sides of the streets were lined with vendors selling things in their shops. The part that was hard to get used to was the haggling they did. They knew we had money and did not like taking no for an answer. They would come up to you and offer you something saying it was free, but nothing was ever really free. They would then expect you to buy something and pay them. It was hard just to walk down the street without ten people coming up to you and trying to get you to buy something, not just in the markets, but everywhere we went, even on the boats. Even after you said no, they would follow you down the street lowering the prices and shoving things in your face. Some of them were very persistent and hard to get away from. I learned the best method was not to make eye contact and when they asked you to buy something just to pretend you didn’t hear them and keep walking. This made it hard to shop because if they saw you looking at something they would not give up until you bought it. The thing that I did enjoy was bartering for things. There were no set prices for anything, you could even barter for food sometimes. At first it was difficult and I would just take whatever price they told me without questioning it, but once I got the hang of it, I would set a price and not pay anything more. If they said it was too low I would say ok and walk away and they would almost always follow me offering more deals until they said ok. It was hard judging how much things were worth and what I should pay for them, and I felt bad offering too little, but I got the hang of it pretty fast. Now I feel like I might walk into Wal-Mart and try bartering with them until I pay what I want to pay. Overall, I think the markets were pretty overwhelming but you could find almost anything you were looking for there, and they did make some pretty good deals.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Molly Welton