Sunday, May 11, 2008

To Bargain Or Not To Bargain?

We had brunch at E-Siong again today. While I was having my fried mee hoon, Mia suggested that I should go to the wet market to buy some fresh seafood. I thought that was a brilliant idea.

So after brunch, I dropped Mia and JJ at home and then I went off to the wet market. It was fast approaching noon by the time I reached the car park of the wet market. I had to wait quite a while before I was able to find an empty parking bay. But while I was waiting there with my engine and air-conditioner still running, a man approached my vehicle and knocked on the window. I rolled down the window and asked him what's the matter. He took out a bunch of VCDs from his bag and held them out to me, saying that they're very "panas", meaning "hot" in Malay. I looked at those VCDs and realised that they were pornographic movies. I don't normally entertain these people in the street, but since I was waiting for a vacant parking bay anyway, I thought I might as well satisfy my curiosity!

Of the bunch of VCDs that he had, one was supposed to be a famous Malay Malaysian artiste. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of Malaysian entertainments, so I don't know very many Malaysian celebrities; and I therefore couldn't recognise the woman shown on the cover of the VCD. Of course I could tell that that woman was a Malay; just that I didn't know if she's anyone famous in the Malaysian entertainment industry.

Anyway, that VCD was going for RM15 each whereas the rest which comprised porns from India, Hong Kong, Korea and of course the Western World were selling at RM10 each. I asked him why the 50% extra for the local porn? He said because this particular one was "special"—and get this—"banyak gaya!", meaning "many styles"—referring to the many positions of the act. He turned the cover over and indeed there were many smaller pictures at the back which showed the many, many positions! Just out of curiosity, I tried bargaining with him on the price. But he was quite firm; those were "special edition", you see. So no room for negotiations. Then I tried another trick; what if I buy more than one? He still wouldn't budge. Well, in the end I didn't buy any of those VCDs, although I was fairly curious about our very own pornographic productions! I never intended to buy anyway.

Well, I parked my vehicle and a short while later I found myself in the wet market. There was a wide variety of fishes. I found that the prices of fishes today were a bit expensive, but I suppose that had a lot to do with the bad weather over the last couple of days. I reached a table selling some black pomfrets (bawal hitam). There was a guy there having an animated negotiation with the seller. The pomfrets were selling at RM15 per kg, but the seller was willing to reduce it to RM14 per kg. Looking over his shoulder, I thought that was quite a good bargain. But the guy was still not satisfied. He kept trying to reduce the price to RM12 per kg. The seller declined. So for the next few minutes they continued to negotiate about the price. In the end, the deal did not materialise. The fish seller refused to go any lower than RM14 per kg; and the interested buyer was unwilling to pay RM14 per kg. He was still grumbling when he walked off.

When it was my turn, I happily chosed a few pomfrets of about 1 kg each and made the purchase. I don't normally spend 10-15 minutes bargaining on the price for the sake of saving a few ringgit. I went on to buy some prawns, sea bass and red snappers.

Then I walked to my vehicle; and while I was arranging my purchases in the small ice case in the back, I noticed that same man who ended up not buying those black pomfrets. He was sitting in his huge 4WD. The same man with the VCDs were trying to sell him those pornographic movies. They were quite at a distance away from me, but it was quite obvious that the guy, perhaps out of habit, tried to bargain the price down. The VCD seller was adamant with his price. The negotiation didn't last very long. The guy calmly took the whole bunch of VCDs, paid the seller and drove away. Perhaps he should have had that attitude when dealing with the pomfret seller.

Amazing to think of the value of pornographic materials to some people, huh?


Anonymous said...

Maybe he did some calculations and figured that RM15 for "banyak gaya" may only work out to RM3 tuition fee per style.

1kg of Pomfret: RM14
1 dirty vcd: RM15

1 "impressed" wife after trying all the styles: priceless

Cornelius said...

Dear Mr Anonymous,

If only you'd use a nickname, it would make it much easier for all of us.

And this must be one of the best comments in a long time! Hahaha! 1 "impressed" wife: priceless! RM3 tuition fee per style!

MUAHAHAHAHA!... oh you are killing me, man!

Anonymous said...

I would suggest : 1 "satisfied" wife instead of "impressed".

"Impressed" impressed upon me that the wife was watching the husband trying all the styles all by himself - or with someone else. "Satisfied" would meant to me that she is the 'guinea pig'.

But come to think of it, "impressed" is not so bad, after all. How many readers out there who can lay claim to be able to "impress" their wives in this manner??

Cornelius said...

You have a point there, Peter.

Yeah, hard to imagine how to "impress" the wife in the way you mean it. But if there is anything close to it, perhaps this guy successfully impressed his wives (note that it's plural) to the extent that they're giving him the greenlight!