Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Of chairs and chainsaws

The taverna and the villagers of Azogires are not totally dependent on trips into Paleochora or Xania for essential supplies; essential for the purposes of this particular blog being defined as tables, chairs or chainsaws. On occasion passing travelling salesmen/women/children appear with vans (over)loaded with such items.

What happens then is a uniquely Cretan type of bargaining which looks to the innocent bystander as being little short of an outburst of riotous anarchy mixed with the immanent threat of violence, tempered with periods of maniacal farce.

The process, as recently observed, appeared to go something like this: A price for the goods required is requested and, when given, is greeted with either total disbelief or total derision.

A few minutes later, in the midst of a heated discussion which appeared to centre around whose great, great grandfather/great, great, grandmother was either a goat or a Turk, a counteroffer appeared. This, in its turn, was rejected out of hand with appropriate signs of disgust and disbelief.

The process of offer/harangue/counteroffer then continued for as long as the spectators sitting in the kafenion, could keep egging on the principals to continue providing them with such amusing, and free, diversion. Since the negotiations ( in this case for the purchase of a significant number of new chairs) were being conducted in the middle of the street, they were augmented by, what one can only hope were appropriate, remarks of encouragement from passing motorists who had to drive through the middle of a temporary furniture store.

In due course, a final figure appeared, as if by magic, and was willingly agreed to by both parties. The matter ended in the consumption of sundry bottles of Temenia fruit juices – one has to keep the children interested – and the both the sparring parties departing the field of combat feeling that they have got one over on the other.

The only disappointed people are the spectators, who, safe on the sidelines, had been awarding points for negotiating techniques and had concluded that the prize for the winner went to the traveller who actually managed not only to get the world’s largest chainsaw going, but then managed to sell it.

Coming soon, The Azogires Chainsaw Massacre.


Mediterranean kiwi said...

loved this post
i can never get the hang of bargaining - i dont bargain at all, but i dont buy much either!

Anonymous said...

are those chainsaws any good for shearing sheep lucky.?lol

Anonymous said...

OMG Someone from Canada has asked me if I could recommend a visit to the village of Azogires, staying at the Alpha Hotel. I even sent them a link to this blogspot - I said it was a lovely peaceful place to stay . . .