Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The fine art of negotiation.

This past week has been a roller coaster!  Lunches, classes, meeting old and new friends,  getting over a chest cold, then having a rickshaw driver take me to the wrong place.  I have even begun to learn to negotiate, to haggle if you will.

My roomie and I went on a little shopping trip last Saturday.  We were wanting to get back before Geetaji's question and answer session.  Nana picked us up and asked where we wanted to go.  We told him,  then I said, "I would like to be back by 4:30 to shower and get ready for the event."  He said, "Angela, it will take longer than that we need at least one chai and you know we could go to a couple more shops.....so, 5pm I will have you back at Om Villa."  I said, "I will meet you in the middle and 4:45 is fine." He laughed a big belly laugh after I said, "Well, at least I have learned to negotiate like and India."  We got back at 4:59.

In India, people haggle, negotiate, and try to talk down the price of everything.  It's not really my thing, but I have been known to not buy a 90 rupee papaya because the day before it was 60.  It is so silly to get up in arms about 30 rupees.  I would not try that at WFM!

Today I had breakfast with an Indian teacher who comes to Colorado frequently. I asked her, "Did you drive?"  She said, "Yes, my scooter." So, we were off! This tiny woman with a blonde lady almost a foot taller than her on the back of her scooter! It was so fun. She could tell I was nervous so she said ,"Hold onto whatever you need and as tight as you need."  I actually did not need to hold onto her much, there was a convenient handle right behind me! 

Her home is at the edge of a neighborhood and is beautiful.  The balcony overlooks a river and so many fruit trees. I saw four hawks circling above.  It was serene. She fed me roasted veggies, fruit, and a nescafe for breakfast.  The coffee made me happy.  I was feeling reminiscent about the first time I came to India with Dana.  On the drive from Mumbai to Pune, we stopped at a very dirty coffee shop and our first beverage here was out of an automatic nescafe machine!  It is amazing how many memories you can make in one month.

After spending time with my friend this morning, we went to the edge of her neighborhood to call me a rickshaw.  We tried three before we found one to drive me to Model Colony.  The one that agreed cleaned off his mirror to keep and eye on me, probably to make sure I am the type of person who can pay what he asks.  We drove for 15 minutes and I said, "Model Colony?" He said, "Modern College?"  Then we pulled up to a place called 'Modern College'.  I looked at him and we both started laughing at the fact we were both speaking English, but neither understood.  I arrived at the Institute really late, but at least I learned that even though the meter may say 60 rupees,  it may not always be what the driver wants.  He wanted more money, asked my name.  I said, "Cindy". He smiled, bobbled his head at me and gave me my change.  I gave him my fake name and the amount the meter said and was on my way.  I guess that was good enough for him, he had a name and I had my change.

We only have a few more days in India, a few more classes, a few more rides in the rickshaw.  I am again trying to stay in the moment and not in front of it.

Until next time.........

One sweet ride! I think I want one!

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