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Photographer's Note

This photo was taken along the main street of Sal Rei, the capital town of the island of Boa Vista. I tried to capture here some less damaged and better painted houses. 揘o stress is a motto of the Cape Verdean people. Almost every shop has it written over the entrance.

When I was taking photos of the church which I showed you before, I was approached by a local man who told me few phrases in Polish language. Similarly, to what you may experience in some Southern European tourist destinations, they try to use your language to encourage you to enter their shops or restaurants. I was quite surprised to hear that he knew few Polish phrases. There were hardly any people on the streets. He told me that he saw me and my family in the hotel where he works but today he has a day off and he takes care about his mother shop. He told me that his mother shop is not very profitable, and it would help him a lot if I could buy something. I hesitated to enter his shop because I was already late for the quad tour, but he insisted saying 搉o stress they are surely going to wait for me. I thought I can indeed help the local people by buying something in the local shop rather than in the hotel boutique. We started to browse the jewellery and souvenirs in his shop. The problem which I faced reminded me what I experienced in Egypt or Turkey before. I remember when in a shop in Egypt they asked me what I would like to buy. I said I would like postcards of books with photos. After a while they brought me some postcards which were very much damaged and dirty. How can I tell them that I don抰 want their postcards anymore if they don抰 feel themselves that it is inappropriate to sell defective items? A similar thing happened in this Cape Verdean shop. The jewellery which was displayed, was certainly handmade but it was of really bad quality, and it appeared dirty. The fridge magnets were all visually damaged. My daughter touched one necklace so the seller assumed she likes it, but quietly in Polish she told me that she does not like anything in this store. My wife found some simple looking but acceptable from her perspective African style necklace. Now the bargaining started. The bargaining is especially difficult if you don抰 really want to buy what the seller wants to sell. We really saw this purchase more like a charity. I offered him 5 euro for this necklace, he wanted 60. He lied to me that some parts are made of silver etc. I studied chemistry; I think I can distinguish metal from a silver looking paint. So again, should I tell him that he is cheating? I really wanted to help him, so we bargained into 20 euro. This was way too much for this necklace. By the way, above that store there were of course big letters 搉o stress. After we left the store, I realized that he could have heard me and my family talking in Polish just along the street of Sal Rei and we had bracelets with the name of the hotel so there was a big chance he didn抰 really work in the hotel. This time we didn抰 really mind to be scammed, since as I said we treated it more like a charity. In the end though I preferred to buy what I really wanted in the hotel boutique which had higher quality products with displayed prices and didn抰 require bargaining.

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jean113, aliabazari, Fis2, PaulVDV, COSTANTINO, worldcitizen, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7480 W: 106 N: 19593] (75015)
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