Monday, January 23, 2006

Commerce

After a morning boat trip to Philae we hit the souks of Aswan in force. The shop owners here are brutal. One cannot go more than a few feet before you are assaulted on all sides with demands for your attention. Every kind of item is sold on this crowded street. We found some pretty necklaces and Rossana hammered the guy from 80 Egyptian pounds down to 5. We found some lovely scarves that we thought would sell at shows but getting the price and colors we wanted was difficult. In the last store I was growing weary of the constant banter and tried out a new persona I've been saving for just such an occasion. Gone is the polite and softspoken Ohio boy, he is replaced with a loud southern gentleman bearing a striking resemblance to Forhorn Leghorn.

'Look heeah sir, my wife..I say my wife like this little bauble but I can't see mah way to payin ninty pounds for it. It's a scandle!'

Rossana instantly assumes the soft lilt of a southern belle:
'But daddy ah want it! It's the prettiest thing ahve evuh seen. '

'Oh bah! You say that at every store, sugarbumps.'

'Ah told you I want it'

'And people in Hell want ice water puddin pie.'

'Ahm sure this nice man will give us a good price.'

'Certainly madam. For you special price of seventy five'

'Do ah look like I just fell off the turnip truck sir? I come from a long ...I say I come from a long line of fiscally prudent men'

'He means that his side of the family has always been tightwads'.

'Look heyah sir, ah love mah wife so I'm willing, I say I'm willin to go to fifty. And that mah final offer. '

The shop keeper tried to get me up a few pounds but I won't budge. He cries how he can't sell it for a loss.

'Well suh ah understand. You seem like a nice fellow and I hope..ah say ah hope someone will give you a fair price. Come sweet cheeks, lets go speak to that nice fellow Mohammed down the street.'

The shop owner gives me a last dirty look and turns to Rossana. 'I make deal for 50 pound for you because you nice, him he not so nice'.

'You're a gentleman and a scholar suh.' I said tipping my hat as we left the shop. It's fun to play the heavy.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome story! I can so hear you saying that!

Anonymous said...

If anyone but you told that story I would cry bullshit.

-Tim

duff said...

Half expected to read that you then launched into the "You can't get down off an elephant" joke...

Anonymous said...

Not since Hope and Crosby have I enjoyed an "On the Road" tale like this...combine that with your Dorothy Lamoyr sidekick (Hey Rosanna!) and I'm sure Egypt will never be the same...

Anonymous said...

Ooops! That should be Dorothy Lamour!

*walks away singing "Off on the Road to Cairo"*

Can't wait to see you guys at GLMF!