When my wife and I travel, we try to keep with local customs and traditions when it comes to appearance, eating at restaurants and the general way of life. So in the markets of Kathmandu, Nepal, where bartering is a way of life, we struggled a bit.
Walking down one of the streets, a navy blue “Nepal” T-shirt caught my eye. I hadn’t seen the shirt anywhere before and it was our next-to-last day in the country. We went into the store to ask about price and size, and the shopkeeper threw out a price that was, and I’m not exaggerating, US$5.12. I realize that bartering is the way of life, but I couldn’t bring myself to haggle him down to something equivalent to US$4 or $4.50. That extra dollar will mean a lot more to the shopkeeper than it will to I, but it’s difficult because I don’t want to be a “big, dumb tourist” and get taken advantage of. Also, however, I can’t argue with a guy over $1.12 difference on a T-shirt.
It is a cool shirt, though.