How I took bartering to the next level and bagged two African oil paintings

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Your Say Wednesday

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I pride myself on being quite good at bartering (but also fair.) I’ve even had friends travelling with me ask me to do the bartering for them in an art shop – turns out bartering is sniffed at there, Oops. 

But I had no intention of bartering when I stopped at my last African market in Ghana on the way to the airport. I was just killing time as I had no money left! 

Two beautiful oil paintings drew my attention instantly. I loved the colours and the abstract images of women carrying babies and carrying water. The seller noticed me admiring the paintings, “How much miss?” I apologised and explained I didn’t have any money left, I was just browsing but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. 

“Well, what else can you give me?” At first I was shocked “ What are you implying?! I am NOT that sort of girl!!” But then I saw his attention drawn to my smelly trekking sandals. “What about those?” he said, pointing at my feet! 

Now I had fully intended on sticking these in the bin at the airport, I even had flip-flops in my bag ready for a quick change. Surely no one would actually want these horrendous ugly trekking sandals which I had waded through rivers and mud slicks in?! 

But he seemed genuinely excited by this trade (one pair of gross shoes and half a packet of biscuits) and as I left with my paintings, I saw him parading them up and down to his market friends! I guess one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure after all..!


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