The price of a roll

April 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I went to Super Selectos for some food around 1 pm and saw a case with great bread, not the airy flaky flavorless kind, but hearty bread. I asked how much. 3 cords per roll, great, I bought 3 for 9 cordobas.

I shared them with a friend who decided she would buy some also. Around 3 pm we went back for 3 more. Total price: 10.5 cords. Hmm, quite inflated after only 2 short hours.

The next morning, I went back for more. This time they were 4 cords a piece! Granted, a different person was working each time. I had to argue with each of them to get the original 3 cords price. Or was it the original? What would have been my starting point had I gone at 11 am?

The flaky pricing is typical of Nicaragua and some other Central American countries. Yesterday on the bus I got charged 5 cords more than anyone else. Why? The gringo/tourist price. Either way, I always have to negotiate my way out of a higher price here.

I generally just starting with saying ‘no, that’s too high’ then either give another price or attempt to walk away a few times. That does it, usually. Or I listen to the price the local was just charged then ask for the same or give exact change (this is key or they may not always give you money back). I’m just used to everyone trying to rip you off. It’s a big chicken fight (El Gallo mas Gallo) but once you agree on a price with someone, then you become best of friends and they are the nicest people. I just have to say I expected it from a street vendor or Taxista didn’t expect it out of a grocery store.

So if you want a cheap roll, I suggest going to Super Selectos around 9 am on Monday. ;)