How to Buy Sunglasses on La Palma

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Life, Spain, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

When the plane took off in the howling wind and with the rain monsooning it down how was I to know that it would be clear skies and blinding sunshine when I touched down in Santa Cruz de la Palma 30 minutes later?

The grey and moody weather forecast had meant I hadn’t even bothered to bring any sunglasses and I was left squinting unattractively at everything like Vincent Van Gopher from Deputy Dawg.

As it was only 8.30am none of the shops had opened yet. However, an African hawker was just finishing setting up his stall in a small plaza and, as any visitors to the Canary Islands know, African hawkers generally = sunglasses.

I’d fancied changing to a pair of classic 60s style anyway (not just because George Clooney tends to favour them) so this was as opportune a time as any to pick some up. It also revealed two very different approaches to bartering. Our friend Linda’s (who has clearly been to the RADA school of haggling) and mine.

I chose a suitable looking pair and tried them on. Andy confirmed they looked good (not George Clooney good, maybe more John Belushi Blues Brothers good) so it was just a question of agreeing a price.

“Diez euros,” asked the hawker.

“Hmmm, seems a bit much,” I responded, but without any conviction. I’m crap at bartering and I know it…more importantly so do the vendors I’m bartering with.

Friend Linda adopted a much more imaginative approach to his asking price. Clutching her heart and gasping she staggered backwards, grabbing on to her husband Robert for support.

“Okay,” laughed the hawker. “Eight euros.”

Seemed fine to me, so I paid the man and saved my eyes from being blistered by the sun.

I just wonder how much I’d have gotten them for if Linda had gone one step further and fallen to the ground and then thrown in some convulsions for good measure?

  1. zephyrliving says:

    And how do you know what type of spec Clooney favors? Ha ha! I hope you split the 2 euros with Linda!

    • dragojac says:

      He seems to wear the same ones in all his movies. I didn’t share the dosh, but I did use it to start a fund to send her to acting school.

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