"How much is this fine lace?" Ana asked "4000 naira per yard" replied the trader. "Ah! madam that one is too much, let me give you 1500 per yard". The visibly angry trader gave a menacing stare and proceeded to ignore Ana in a way that showed that it was intentional.
Although she had no intention of buying it she was used to finding out the range of prices for things she has plans to purchase later. She had learned from her dad to start bargaining from the least reasonable price or less. Several times on accompanying him to the market she felt ashamed on his behalf during some transaction as he shamelessly went as low as 30 percent of the initial price before gradually moving upward to a price that would seem fair after much compromise on the part of the trader. He was often reminded by such traders who were predominantly women, that he was a man to which he confidently replied in their native language "Do men get their money without working? if not why should l not try to get a good deal?". Her husband Omar was not different he often told her " if they can boldly tell you an outrageous price, you should confidently slash it to what you can afford after all they have their goods and you have your money". Repeatedly hearing this from two remarkable men in her life, helped her to improve her bargaining power regardless of what she'll get from the other end.
She however noted that people with good business skills never took offense at such prices, they laughed it off and commended her for trying but further encouraged her to try more. Traders from the eastern part of her country would say " you try but l no buy am like that, add something". Such an attitude encouraged the buyer to be more flexible and at the end of the transaction, a relationship was established.She enjoyed patronizing such people.
"Ana! Ana!" she heard a familiar voice but it was faint and distant, it was Omar's and she turned to find him. Gradually the voice became clearer and closer accompanied by relatively loud knocks on the door. Ana had drifted off into sleep while reading and her husband was knocking.