Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Arrived and settled in

I am not a good bargaining. We needed to get some clothing now that we're here, and I'm no good at it. My travel partner keeps getting things for half the price that I managed to get the merchant to settle on. We moved hotels today; the new one costs $1.75 each per night, if you can believe it. We have fruit trees out the back and an avocado tree out the front. It's bare bones, of course, but kind of cute. Hoping to post photos once I get that figured out. I took a walk/run on the beach this morning, and I'm still a little astonished that I'm really here. The waves are ginormous. We're going to surfing school in a few more days when the jet lag is recovered.

It smells so good here with all the incense burning in the offerings in front of just about every doorway. Surfer boys are all over the place, zillions of them. Very few Americans that I can tell. I kind of feel like I'm hiding here.

Bartering tip 1: Remember that this is how it's done. The vendors see your blonde hair and jack up the price. Act like a local with less than $5 in your pocket.

Bartering tip 2: Always, always counter offer at 40 to 50% of their asking price.

Bartering tip 3: Get over feeling awkward with tip 2. That's just how it's done.

Bartering tip 4: Be prepared to walk away.
Amy, are you in Tokoyo? It's hard to act like a local with your blonde hair; more so in some of the less traveled cities in Japan. You really can feel like a minority.
I got to see Amy last weekend; she is no longer blonde. She's going icognito with some pretty brown/auburn hair. :)

tip 4 is a good one!
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