Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Nice to Deal With Friends

On the weekend, I went to a local hardware shop to pick up a few things. The owner was pretty hard-nosed when it came to bargaining. He wouldn’t budge on his prices at all! Then at one point, he asked me if I spoke Mooré (the main language in our part of Burkina). I said no, but that I did speak a bit of Kusaal. He looked at me like I’d risen from the dead! “You’re kidding!” he exclaimed, “I’m Kusassi!”

“Really?” I asked. “What’s your name?”
“Edouard Ouaré,” he replied.
“Then you must be from Zoaga,” I said.
Another look of astonishment. “That’s right!” he answered. “How did you know that?”
“Because Zoaga is the village of the Ouarés,” I said, and began greeting him in Kusaal.

That man was happier than a pig in a mudhole! And when we resumed negotiations for the items I was purchasing, the prices dropped significantly. It’s always nice to deal with friends :)

PS: We found another replacement guard. He’s worked for 5 nights now, so there’s hope.

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