Ok, maybe not a big one; how about a medium size one?
After Chen shi fu and I dropped Mark off at the airport for his trip to Taiwan, I had him drive me to Thumb Plaza which is in Pudong, near Meredith’s school. Here’s a link to a picture that shows you why it’s called Thumb Plaza :http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnewman/2250286499/
Some people had taken me there last week and I had gotten some drawer organizers that actually fit in my small kitchen drawers so I wanted to go back and get some more. What I didn’t realize is that there is also a Carrefour grocery store there as well. So, Chen shi fu parks in the basement parking garage and I’m looking really confused as to how to get out of it, so he leads me out, straight into the Carrefour, assuming that’s where I want to go, because where else have I ever gone? (What must he think of me?) He’s trotting off at a brisk pace and I’m trying to catch up and wishing I could speak Chinese so I could call him back and tell him, Hey, I don’t want to go to Carrefour!
When I did reach him, I kept pointing up (we were still in the basement), which got me no where, so I typed “Hola” the name of the store into my taxi card on my iPhone, but there’s 5 of them in Shanghai and none of them said Thumb Plaza. He eventually figured out I didn’t want to be in Carrefour and lead me out onto the Plaza, and after wandering around a bit I found the store.
Well, they only had one package of the dividers I wanted, but they did have what basically looks like my rice cooker from home, except with a 220 plug. Since this is kind of a small store, rather than a Media Markt (Best Buy x 2) where we usually go, I thought I’d get someone to tell me about it since it’s all in Chinese. They finally found an English speaker and she was able to tell me enough that I determined it was pretty much like the one I had at home.
I told her I had one at home in the States but this one here was very expensive. And then she said “I will give you 5% off!” And I thought, “Oh my goodness, I think I’m bargaining, what do I do?” So I said I might consider it for 10% off. More people showed up and they did some figuring and she said, no, just 5%. Well, the price was already a lot cheaper than I had seen elsewhere, so I agreed, being rather whimpy.
However…when I got to the cash register, the girl there keyed it in and showed me a price that was a couple hundred rmb less than what I had been quoted! She asked me if that was ok and I said, “sure!” A minute or so transpired and then she changed her mind and said, sorry, no it’s the other price.
No, I said, pleasantly, I want the first price. She was a rather giggly girl so this was easy to do. We kept going round and round about it until the woman I negotiated with got wind of it and she came into the discussion. Pretty soon other people joined in including Chen shi fu!
Negotiating woman says, “my colleague made a mistake.” I say I want that price. She says no. I say lets split the difference. She makes a phone call. They offer gift (typical bargaining chip). I don’t want gift (a bank in the shape of a cat with raised arms that is popular here). At this point, I’m ready to run out of the store without a rice cooker, but I’m trying to stay strong. They come up with a counter money offer. I agree.
I’ve gotten my 10% off! I’ve saved $74 USD over Media Markt! Chen shi fu gets the cat.