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Published on 26 July 2007

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The parable of the Vietnamese market

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Like any full-bloodied male worth his salt I hate going shopping. If I could find a way to make my purchases and meet myself coming out of the store before I even went in, I would do so. It seems that the joys of window-shopping are strictly limited to the female sex!

However, as with most rules there are exceptions. Having just returned from my first-ever visit to Vietnam, I spent much of my time in Ho Chi Minh City doing what? Yes, shopping! Ah, but there is a difference you see. I went shopping in the market and spent hours bargaining down the prices. I even bought things I didn’t want, just to be able to haggle over the cost. The fact that I speak zero Vietnamese and the locals zero English only added to the fun. My first (and last) visit to a local store ended as soon as I discovered that they had fixed prices.

Where, you may ask, did I learn to haggle? Well surprisingly enough



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