Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bargain Shopping

As the rest of my time in the jungle rapped up so much quicker than expected, I was left trying to organize souvenir/Christmas present shopping before returning. I made a couple trips to Otavalo, to grace the market with my presence…and money. I mainly shopped aimlessly decided that I could assign presents once I got back as long as I had enough to give me some flexibility. To be honest, quite a bit of shopping as for myself as well. I couldn’t resist- its naturally in my genes as a female.

Anyways, I indulged in sweaters, scarves, jewelry, an alpaca wool blanket, and basic t-shirts. The key to getting all those items is intense bargaining. Naturally, they try to take advantage of any tourist who may not know the going price a nice pullover with the pattern of alpacas grazing across the belly. And, even after leaving Otavalo, I continued on in the much smaller version of the same market in Quito just to be entirely sure I shouldn’t waste any more money. Just as I was heading through one of the last aisles convinced I didn’t need anything else, I saw something that caught my eye. A permanent stand that sold something entirely unique to the rest of the market including the master market of Otavalo. I carefully asked how much my interest would cost me- and after hearing $5 and repeating it to make sure I had heard right, I decided I couldn’t pass up such a great bargain.

So just like that, I decided to get my nose pierced.

No, I’m being serious grandma and grandpa.

Anyways, my fearlessness as overpowered by such a reasonable price. But, as I sat down in my seat to see a kid who couldn’t be over 15 years old prepping my selected piercing- I was immediately nervous. WHO JUST DECIDES TO GET THEIR NOSE PIERCED IN A MARKET IN ECUADOR BECAUSE IT’S $5?! Well….me obviously. But, that’s not the point. I think the part where I actually considered death might be an outcome of the piercing was when I saw the boy using SANDPAPER to sharpen the dull stud into something significant enough to be used as a piercer. A little spray of some funny stuff on my nose to numb it, a little dot of a pen for accuracy requiring a reluctant approval to continue, and I closed my eyes just in time to see him force through the once dull clear rhinestone stud into my nose. I couldn’t have done it without the hand of Jenn, one of the GVI staff, which was near broken when the piercing was done, and the mocking encouragement of Olly, another staff member. I honestly didn’t feel anything besides a slight pressure, so with that, I convinced Jenn of the true bargain at hand that needed to be taken advantage of. So with a few positive and encouraging words and persistent insisting and bribing of paying for her piercing- I essentially forced Jenn to get her nose pierced- who ended up loving it as well- so our bargain shopping really paid off!

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