Cusco at Night and About Haggling

Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
Trip End Jul 05, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Part of Cusco's charm is that it still seems to have that small town feel, especially around the Plaza de Armas area.  It's definitely in contrast to the modern metropolitan Lima.  So when we arrived in Cusco, I felt it was the first time we really got to experience Peru.  Yea, it's still a tourist town for the most part, but its got some cool Peruvian mojo.  The city becomes even more magical at night.  The lights used throughout Peru have that glowing, warm type of candescence.

We got to meet even more people around the Plaza...  and I was ready.  Ready for what you may ask?  As we got to Lima, one of the things that got into my head was trying to really get into the culture.  And what better way to do that than practice my Espanol through haggling. 

Allow me to take a step back and discuss haggling a bit.  Haggling is a love it or hate it thing for most people; either you like it or you simply pay up the full amount people initially offer.  I'm in the "oh so love it" camp because:  a) I hate being taken for a ride (even if I'm a wealthy tourist by Peruvian standards) and b) it makes me interact with people at a more intimate level than just shelling out my cash and taking my shit.  So with that, I was ready for haggling, and haggling hard.  No one, and I really do mean no one (grandmas, cute little kids, mothers with babies clinging on their teets) was immune to my hard bargaining skills.  I only draw a line with obvious cripples or starving peeps (rib cage must be prominent).  And even then, I'll give you a once over to make sure.

With that out of the way, I run into the two cute little girls (see second pic).  They come waltzing towards me with their pretty little smiles, and their pretty little souvenirs.  Little do they know I'm ready for 'em.  This is how it went:

Cute older girl: Would you like to buy some finger puppets? *twinkle in her smile* (Finger puppets btw are a typical tourist souvenir in Peru.)
Me: Cuanto questa? (How much?)
Cute older girl: 6 for 5 soles *twinkle in her smile again*
Me: (thinking, you ain't breaking me down little girl) Muy caro! (With my hands cupped in the air like an Italian and my face distorted for sadness)
Cute older girl: Por favor senior, 5 for 4 soles. *twinkle twinkle* (btw I'm bartering for about a dollar, 3 soles roughly equals 1 US dollar... no matter)
Me: (now that's clever, reducing the quantity of goods but maintaining the average price somewhat) No dinero chica (then I make a motion of hunger for my stomach... I'm sure she'll feel sorry for ME)

In any case, this went on for 5-10 minutes or so, and I eventually felt satisfied with giving her some thought about not swindling me.  For those ready to jump on my throat for berating a cute Peruvian kid, I did end up buying about 10 finger puppets over her asking price and tipping her 3 soles on top of that.  Rowena handed out some lollipops (that was Rowena's thing with the kids) and we happily took our group photo.
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kuya_jojo on

Tourist Trap
Dude, you fell for the oldest trick in the book...cuteness.

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