“So how much did you pay?”

I don’t quite fully understand this, but this seems to be quite the popular question here, almost acceptable. None of my other friends of any other nationalities ever contemplate asking it, yet here in Cairo people don’t seem to think twice.

As far as I’m concerned, a question along the lines of “so how much did you end up paying?” is only valid within the following limited circumstances:

  1. You will be baring part of that cost, hence need to compute your share.
  2. You have at an earlier date specifically instructed me not to pay more than X amount.
  3. You have kindly and graciously offered to assist in the selection, procurement and haggling and I have declined claiming I could do it all on my own.

Even better, following this annoyingly invasive question, I am often too embarrassed not to respond (I don’t have it in me to give people a response to the effect of “wenta mallak”), so I give a range, or the actual price.

Next, more often than not, you’ll get asked for specifications, how many Gs of RAM? how many CCs? what kind of wood? is the leather real? etc..

Now ladies and gentleman, whatever you say at this point is irrelevant, because the next phrase most definitely is going to be:

“Dude, you overpaid!”

Sometimes giving you exact figures of how much they believe you over-paid. In some occasions also expressing their un-fondness of the specifications.

Why they assume I am seeking their approval on my purchase decisions is beyond me really, bas ma 3alina.

I’m curious though as to what we aim to achieve here. I mean, what are the gains from you expressing that I paid too much? What can the objective possibly be?

  • Ghalassa?
  • A statement of the fact that you know best and your opinion should have been asked?
  • Joy/ buzz killing?
  • A for future reference?

What happened to this (now fictional) conversation:

Me: I bought a car.

You: Congrats! What colour?

Me: Red.

You: NICE!

THE END!!!!!

Any ways, I’m not one who cares much for haggling, this is partially attributable to the fact that I’ve been on the other side and I know how bad it is to be doing sales in the first place, but to have some ignorant client treat you like you are a swindler selling tomatoes at an unfair margin. The other part has to do with my view on money, it is only money, and it can’t buy you happiness, but in those rare moments when it does, for the love of God, unless you’ve offered me a umberella and I’ve declined it, DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE!

Merci!

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10 thoughts on ““So how much did you pay?”

  1. When people ask me how much do I make or how much did my wedding cost, I go : it is private! they go: range kam ya3ni!!!!!!!!!!! some people just dont get it and have no shame being told off!

  2. It’s my first time on your blog. Nice post :).

    I get this feeling sometimes too, but I don’t mind people asking about things that are widely known, like laptops or mobiles. Also asking about specifications in such things is not a 3’alasa as much as it’s just a common interest between people. It only annoys me if I got a sense of “you over paid” or “that’s not so wow”.

    I wish I learn how to say “wenta malak” in a polite way for polite people who are asking innocently, and say it the hard way for other people 😀

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