Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Israel Moment

I was waiting in line at the post office this morning when one of the Wednesday-guys came in. These guys are mostly Arabs who come to town on shuk (market) days and walk around the city with their "shop" hanging in boxes strung from their shoulders. They sell all sorts of sundry items -- flashlights, hats, gloves, watches, decks of cards, shaving kits and other knick-knacks.

So as the entire line-up of customers were waiting, the guy goes up to the counter to see if the clerks want anything. And while we all waited, both clerks reviewed the merchandise, checked the colors of the hats that he's carrying this week and did their shopping. Three hats per clerk.

Don't forget though....this whole exchange involves a lot of bartering as well. Back-and-forth....Arabs don't sell or buy anything without a good session of bartering and would be insulted if someone met their original price. It's an art that, if you come in contact with Arab merchants, you'd better be well-versed in -- they expect it.

And all the while the post office customers were waiting in line. No one said a word because -- well, it just wouldn't have been polite to deny this guy the chance to make a sale. 

1 comment:

TsfatMarm said...

My interpretation of no one making a comment is a bit different. It is considered highly impolite to remind public employees that they are meant to be working during work hours. I did it once at the post office over a clerk's dawdling over a morning cup of coffee and got quite a scolding.