William A Gardner
Flash fiction, or Scenes of Life and Travel
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Souks of Tunis
We were the scourge of the souks, or so we thought. The idea of bargaining for everything was like a new game. A group of us caught the spirit of it and charged around the souks of Tunis trying to see how little we could offer for souvenirs and small items. There were long arguments over dirhams, let alone dinars. We'd display casual disinterest and turn to leave, then allow ourselves to be cajoled back for more bargaining. The rule of course was if the shopkeeper met your last price you had to buy. Not that you particularly needed the item. In 1965 everything was cheap in Tunisia. Staying at the Youth Hostel for a night was equivalent to about twenty cents
Later we tired of the game and stopped at a bar to drink and compare deals. There was utter derision when one of us was found to have paid more than another for the same item at a different shop. We laughed a lot. I'm sure the shopkeepers did the same.