Day 9 pokhara: Amy the magical haggler

I guess there’s been a lot of magic on this trip. First lasso, then today, Amy. Maybe it has something to do with all the Harry Potter I’ve been reading?
Anyway, yesterday we learned how to say numbers in Nepali and today Amy basically had them all memorized like a boss. The magical part happened a few times, mainly when I was negotiating prices. 

At least three time, I was in the midst of negotiating, which her really goes something like ‘shop owner suggests price’ then ‘Kate suggests half to two-thirds that price’ then ‘owner says oh no no, and suggests an in between price, often very close to the price they initially suggested’ and this continues until you either realize they’ve given you the actual price they’re not going to budge from, or they realize you’re not going to budge and either come to meet you closer to your price or the conversation ends and you don’t get the item in question. 

Now, when Amy’s involved it goes like this:

Kate: “how much are these scarves?”

Shop owner: 1800 rupees (about $18)

Kate: what about 3000 for three of them?

Shop owner: oh no. ::pulls out calculator to show me how much three should cost::

Kate: but what about 3000?

Shop owner: oh no. 

Amy: what! Noooo, they don’t cost that much. ::then, in Nepali:: “tin-hazar” (three thousand)

Shop owner: ::puts of flabbergasted face. Looks at Amy and me. Laughs.:: okay. 

That happened multiple times which means Amy saved me a lot of money. We assume that we didn’t screw anyone over since we’ve had many people refuse our negotiations in the past when we’ve gone to low. We assume that if we go to low they really won’t give us the item. Or at least we hope that’s the case. We think that Amy’s charm, paired with her attempt at speaking in their language is doing the trick. 

So, note to travelers, if you want to haggle costs in foreign places, and make people smile at your attempts to speak their language, learn some numbers and phrases in the local language. 

Nepali numbers (by how it sounds, not how it’s spelled)

Ik (one)

Doo-ey (two)

Tin (three)

Zsar (four)

Pohts (five)

Ta (six)

Set (seven) 

Et (eight)

Noh (nine)

Das (ten)

Bis (twenty)

Tis (thirty)

Pohts-chas (fifty)
To say “hundred” you add “say” to the number. So for example: 

Ik-say (one hundred)

Pohts-say (five hundred)
I say thousand you can add “hazar” to the number. So you’d say:

Tin hazar (three thousand)
Or, to get advanced:

Doo-ey hazar pohts-say (2500)
Other things to say in Nepali:

-Kay ta? (How are you?) (they may answer tik ta (which is like good, and you?))

-Esko kasi hoe? (How much is this?)

-Namaste (hello!)

-Subaratree (rolling the r’s — good night!)

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Day 8 pokhara: resting, relaxing and rafting…

Today was a rest, relax and decision day. It started with yoga with our favorite teacher, though after last night drinking mojitos (2 for 1!) and “partying” (going from reStaurant to restaurant) until “late” (aka 1130pm), we were feeling a little less enthusiastic and it seemed maybe our teacher was too. There was still the laughing but a little less playfulness than the day before! Oh well!
After a quick and delicious breakfast at a place called the early bird, we headed for coffee at a bit of a fancy place calls Himalayan java cafe, where we planned to hunker down for a bit, read, and then get going. 

Just as we were leaving, amy ended up starting a conversation with this guy who happened to have lived in Seattle before moving to Germany and then Nepal with his wife and two kids. He and his wife chatted Amy and I up, giving us helpful (number for taxi driver they know) and not so helpful (take a domestic flight!) information. One thing they mentioned was to check out the rafting trip company on the ground floor, which did rafting trips. 

What a killer suggestion because after talking with an employee of the raft shop we decided that if there was room, we’d be interested in doing a three day raft trip. There will be three rafts and 24 people, 3 guides, 1 trip leader, 3 kayakers and 2 gear rafts. We’ll camp two nights before returning back to pokhara for one last night before heading back to Kathmandu (and then, for me, home!). 

We made a few other amazing finds today–one: a restaurant that made a delicious (read: fried) veggie burger. Two: a local aesthetician who gave me and Amy hand massages and Amy a manicure while letting us hold her 22-day old baby, telling us about her time in Amsterdam, and teaching us to count and say phrases in Nepali. Three: a cheaper, clean, awesome vibe place that has a (short) Slackline (!) and that we are planning to stay at on our last night here. If only we’d found it sooner, but at least we found it at all! 

We also did loads of shopping, buying jewelry (both of us), a tie dye dress (Amy) and eyeing all the things were going to purchase in our last few days here.

A good, quiet day filled with serendipitous encounters and great people and experiences!