Tiger Balm: How much?
Tiger Balm: How much? Kathmandu Reviews
Jul 30, 2007
As I walked out the airport terminal I was barraged with Nepali men yelling: hey buddy want a taxi? Hotel over here? What you need man? Hey come with me..... after not sleeping throughout the night my mind was a bit clouded. I just started to laugh. Nepali people are very friendly. They also laughed. I saw a guy with a sign for Kathmandu Guest House-I had read about it in Lonely planet. He gave me a free ride to the hotel because I said I was going to stay there. When I got there I didnt like it so I went somewhere different. Thank you I told the driver as I tipped him a buck.
I walked out into the street. "Hey buddy you want a taxi?" Better yet "whats up hommie you need some grass, I got fresh shit." "Hey look here my friend I have beautiful things for sale." "Excuse me sir hotel over here." Such are the sales tactics in the streets of Tamel, the busy tourist destination of Kathmandu, Nepals main city.
"Tiger Balm for you my friend" said the poor Nepali man. I had no interest but I wanted to bargain with the guy. How much I asked?
"For you special price my friend, 700 rupees." In my head I calculated, just over 10 dollars.
"I will give you 150 rupees" I told him thinking this was an over agressive counter offer and he would leave me be-didnt want that shit anyways.
The man tried to counter offer but I didnt budge, "150 rupees is my final offer."
"Sold!" exclaimed the old man. I handed over the 150 rupees, then he put two in my pocket and said "two for 200 my friend!" Okay, fine, another 75 cents and I got my two Tiger Balms for what I dont know. The important thing was I got a good deal.
Minutes later I turned another corner. "Tiger Balm for you sir?"
"how much I replied?"
"Today is slow, only 300 rupees!"
"I will give you 20 rupees I told the man." As before I didnt want the shit, but now I REALLY didnt want the shit.
"Only 20 rupees? Okay 100 rupees you have deal!"
"20 rupees I said." I was walking away could care less.
"Sold!" exclaimed the man.
Now I have three tiger balms and am scratching my head. Guess 100 rupees is not such a good deal!
And such is life in Nepal. Everything is negotiable. If you want the best deal my advice is always be prepared to walk away, there are many many people offering similar products and services. But in the end you are negotiating for a buck or two which for us is little, for them it is so much more! The average Nepali earns about 300 US dollars per year, so sometimes it might just feel better to let them have their way.
The culture here is very peaceful. People here smile a lot. But there is great poverty and their world is changing before their eyes. Out is the old traditions that these people have thrived on for thousands of years, In is western appliances, cars, clothes, capitalisic motives. At times guilt will grip you for the advantages that you have. Although the people here are very poor, often lacking what we consider necessities, they DO smile. But they know the future is uncertain and no one knows what this new transition will bring. Come check this place out. And get yourself a tiger balm or two!
Part of the Checkin out da world before its too late! travel blog
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