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In Peru, one must haggle. That’s easy enough for my Frenchified American mind to wrap itself around. When it comes to taxis, in markets, when dealing with tour operators. It’s a little harder when it comes to stores and specifically pharmacies. And yet, haggle you may.

Yesterday, we were trying to buy some meds to combat my diarrhea because, well, 8 days is too long to be putting up with that. However, we only had a little more than 20 soles on us. The pharmacists said that the price was 48NS. Disappointed, we asked if there wasn’t another brand. He didn’t have one, but he offered to lower the price to 45NS. And so on and so forth until he was trying to sell me only three days worth of pills for 25NS.

We found the same product in a pharmacy a few blocks away for only 28NS for the whole box, which we took without trying to haggle.

Today, after the doc’s visit, I went back to that cheaper pharmacy. On a whim, I divided my money when the pharmacist wasn’t looking. When she announced the total (145NS), I pulled out the wad that had the closest amount to what she was asking, 130NS. I made a show of patting myself and reaching into my other pockets and coming up empty.

“Please, senora, is it possible...?” I asked, waving helplessly at the money I had fanned out on the counter. I counted it again in front of her.

She looked at it, glanced at the pill packets, face scrunched in calculation, and nodded.

Bam, 15 soles ($5 US) off the asked the price.

What the heck?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Seriously dude! I'm sick and weak and terrified and in a foreign country! I'm in no condition to haggle!

Geez. I hope you guys are doing better...

Dec. 10th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. I hate haggling in any circumstance, but especially not while traveling.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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