I had a fun/funny interaction with a veg seller last week. My normal veg guy didn’t have any parsley. Usually if I ask for it he’ll dash off and get some from another guy but I guess his back-up friend was out as well. So I walk down the line of veg sellers and ask a few if they have any parsley. A guy holds up a little bundle and I’m like, “Great! What is that, like 50 piasters or a jineeh?” (approx. 9 or 18 cents). He’s like, “No! It’s 5 pounds!” (just short of a dollar). I laugh and say, “There is no way that’s 5 pounds!”
He goes “Yes, parsley is expensive right now!” Then says, “What, how much should it be?”
“Usually thats 50 piasters, maybe a jineeh.”
“I’ll give it to you for 4.”
I laugh and turn to walk away and he and the other guys around are like “No, no!” So I say, “Ok, I’ll give you 2 pounds, even though I know it is not 2 pounds.” The guys around are laughing and enjoying this exchange. They start asking me if I’m local or where I’m from.
The guy says, “Ok, 3 pounds.”
I turn around and make a step to go and he goes “Ok! Ok, 2!”
I take it and pay because I really want some parsley and at this point we’re quibbling over less than 20 cents. As I pay him I say “But I know this is not 2 pounds!”
Fairly certain I’m the only white face that shops there, ever. It was kind of fun to have my sassy pants on and in those moments, as few as they are, it’s nice to feel like I have a grasp on the language and life here. I mean, I still overpaid, but I did it not making out as a complete fool. And I gave some folks a good laugh. Thank you, thank you. I’m here to amuse!