Tuesday, July 19, 2005
The tailor and suit sellers all seem to be East Indians. The thing about them is that their stores are all in the middle of the block, not along the road, so they have to get people into the store.
By get, I mean drag. The stand on the sidewalk and ask you if you are looking for a tailor. You tell them no, and they say take one of my cards. Fine you think, I'll take one of your cards. But they keep the cards in the store not in their hand. So they drag you into the dead center of the block to get you a card. Trying to sell you a custom suit.
They all use the same trick. Not one of them has a different ruse. Some of them will follow you down the street. After only half a day of this, I'm getting sort of short with people asking me if I want a tailor, and am about ready to go off on the next guy who follows us down the block after we've already told them no.
I feel like I still blend into the crowd, although I know I don't. Everyone here is Chinese and I'm not. There are tons of tourists, but there are hundreds of tons of Chinese people.
The two things I did buy are a power converter to charge my battaries and a polerizing lens filter for my camera. He wanted $30cad for them, but I gave him $25cad. He accepted my first offer, so I'm pretty sure I was had, even with the first discount. The cheapest one I could find in Canada was 21.99, and I'm sure that the power converter would have been at least that much so I'm guessing that I saved at least $15, in addition to needing both of those things pretty badly.
The stores here don't open until 10am so if you want to get around without being attacked by the sellers, go out before then.