The day I was offered 1, 000 camels for my sister in Tunisia
Trying to pick up a bargain when you’re away on holiday is always fun! You have a good laugh with people, make friends and hopefully pick up something special for when you get home. My golden rule that I think we should all abide by is ‘pay what you are happy with’ and by this I mean don’t pay too little. Everyone has to make a living, so if $5 for example seems fair to you then pay it because there’s no need to get another dollar off if you already think you have a bargain!
You can always pick up the good deals before you leave home by getting amazing flight deals or even when it comes time to insure your trip. I have been to many markets around the world, but my earliest and fondest memory has to have been a while ago when I was travelling with my nearest and dearest.
It was about 12 years ago now when I was on my last family holiday which was paid for by my parents. We headed over to Tunis, Tunisia, for a relaxing holiday by the beach to enjoy the sunshine. I knew my dad had booked the trip because it was an all-inclusive hotel where the only interaction you had with local people or culture was talking to the really friendly Tunisian staff. My dad’s idea of a proper holiday is one where you walk from you bedroom to the restaurant, pool or bar each day.
Thank fully I followed in my mother’s footsteps and developed more of an adventurous mindset when heading out of the UK! The hotel was of course fantastic and still being in a kid’s mindset meant that I enjoyed all of the activities on offer with my sisters and brother. Jet skiing, football, swimming, snorkeling and lots more was pretty much all we did!
Finally one day my mum got her own way and we were quickly packed into a cab headed to one of the local markets, we all protested like crazy because we wanted to stay at the hotel. My opinion of the day trip changed however when I saw an opportunity to get rich!
My brother and I had been walking around the market admiring the chess sets that were on sale when we mustered up enough courage to try and barter with one of the stall owners. Of course at this point in our short lives we didn’t understand that some cultures are different to ours, it wasn’t long before the man selling the chess set was shouting loudly because we were offering such little money! Of course he wasn’t being aggressive, it’s just the way things are done there – after being shouted at by various stall owners we caught on to how things worked.
It wasn’t until our sister joined our little chess hunt that things got interesting! We walked up to one stall and the man completely ignored our interest in the chessboard and immediately offered us 100 camels for our sister. After thinking it through for a minute my brother and me thought that wasn’t enough so demanded 1, 000! To our surprise he was game and said yes, jackpot!
All we could think of was how awesome it was going to be having so many camels, how much we could sell them for and also how riding them around town back home was going to make us instantly cool!
Things however did not go to plan; my parents came over to check on us and got wind of what was going on. After much laughter and chat with our potential buyer, a chessboard was purchased and off we went…. my sister was still with us and the camels were no where to be seen! All I kept thinking was ‘why?’ Maybe it was simply because the logistics of transporting 1, 000 camels back to the UK, then housing and feeding them was just too much to take on right now. Whatever the reason it was back to the drawing board for my bro and me!
It goes without saying that I now think my parent’s decision was a wise one, that’s mainly due to the fact that my sister gives such great gifts at birthday and Christmas time!
Do you guys have any funny, interesting or crazy stories from when you have been bartering in markets around the world? I would love to hear them, you always hear some mad ones that me chuckle. Just pop your tales down in the comments section below.