Haggling in America

I lived in Uganda for the first half of 2004 and one of the greatest lessons I came away from my time there was haggling. There is a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you go to the Oweeno Market with 10,000 Shillings (about $5 US) and come home with lots of booty that required insane amounts of haggling because you are a Mzungu (whitey).

Well, the same principle applies here in America friends. Here are some examples:

1. After much haggling with a Jehovah Witness lady, Anna and I stayed a night in a hotel called “Someplace Special” for only $50 on the Outer Banks. A simple room with a mini-kitchen, but for the Outer Banks in the peak season you cannot beat that price. The room reeked of ammonia, so we think it was “clean.”

2. If you have ever been to my house, you have probably seen this ornate, hand-carved, wood chest in my living room. My Mzungu friend Steve would hang out with the Congolese wood carvers every week near the US Embassy in Uganda. Because they knew “Steve Mzungu” and I were close friends, I was going to get a “discount.” Ha, when I asked the price on the first chest they said 400,000 Shillings (about $200 US). I realized at this point it was time to get my haggle on. Long story short – I bought two chest for the price of one…

3. Today I callled Penske to add a Car Carrier to our moving reservation. I am driving the 26′ truck and Anna is driving the Mazda so we needed a way to get the Jeep home. The price was $100 three weeks ago and $250 today. I was in shock! So after 45 mins of haggling and explaining that I could cancel and pay a lot less at Uhaul they gave it to me for $125… That’s a HUGE discount to help with moving expenses!