Economic crisis... I turn on the TV and its all over the place.. whats more we just have too many news channels talking about the same thing.. over and over again. I stood there holding my ears waiting for the world to come crashing down on my head.. quick turn off the light..lets save some money I moaned!
And the hype.. aah the hype.. the media keeps talking about the great depression and the bread lines scaring me even more.. not to mention the impending oil crisis.. I just cant sleep at night.. I keep counting my pennies. I call the bank up and ask them to send me some money. Why they ask.."So I can spend it" I respond! What money? Its all down the stock market drain they say! Or worse.. what bank? BEEEEP!
And whats more we at North Carolina are in the midst of an oil crisis. Deja Vu? No merely some broken oil lines due to Hurricane Ike we are told. Just how long will you say that?
Cars stand in lines on the road screaming "OIL" OIL" OIL". So yesterday M worked from home.. you know how well that went.. we were rushing off last evening to join the cars in the oil hunt.. we struck gold in about 3 miles.. but just the fact that we were out to fill gasoline as a family shows 1. our solidarity, 2. we are all bored and jobless, 3. We are all egging to send M back to office! Whichever it was that triggered action in our otherwise procrasinating household, the gas tank is full again and M is back at work! Phew! Cheeky is back to his non stop talking.. sigh!!
The one person unaffected by the economic crisis is my son.. Last night he was seen flying a plane to pizza hut.. when I was bemoaning the crisis, my son reassured me "Don't worry momma, we are rich.. lets take the plane to pizza hut".. whatever gave him that idea?.. maybe we just buy him too many presents!
Aside: Istockphoto seems to have a good handle on the crisis.. just see the pictures!
The need of the day.. I need to do a course dumpster diving 101.. anyone want to help me out here? Some of you commented to my previous post about the thrill of bargaining.. and that is something I need to learn. Bargaining for dummies, is a book I have to read! So far I am no good!
Some people are born to strike the best bargains. Everywhere they tread, they can haggle their way to financial freedom! I am not one of them! I saw evidence of this in a movie once (Sindhu Bhairavi) were an actor says "if I don't reduce at least 25 paise on your price I can't sleep tonight"... although I presume that the effect must be quite heady, I just can't win a bargaining war! One of my uncles loves to strike a bargain.. so every time we go shopping for the big stuff we beg him to come along.. saves us a pretty penny!
I listen to the bargaining tales with a lot of fascination though. A friend once told us about how she struck a good bargain with the car dealer. Ours sold us a Camry and a few thousands worth of "added benefits" to keep the "interest rate we were getting". We sneakily canceled the benefits later.. but the fact that we could not talk our way out of it should tell you that we suck at bargaining. This friend went to the store to buy a premium SUV. The SUV came with a DVD player (part of the package). But she argued that she did not need one.. remove it and give me a discount she claimed. So the dealer gave her the discount and let her keep the DVD player too. I listened with my jaws wide open of course!
My tryst with bargaining was limited to the streets of TNagar and Bangalore's commercial street! I can safely say I never struck a brag-able deal! For all my talk, I can just not bargain! I have tried only once too often with the auto walas in Chennai and Bangalore. In my hometown Coimbatore there is no haggling with them.. they are an immovable lot.. you pay the exorbitant amount of money or just choose other means of transportation! However the auto walas in Chennai and Bangalore are a little more amenable to haggling! And every time I get a raw deal! There was this guy who once brought us home in his auto from the railway station. He had spoken to us (my mom and me) in local rickshaw waala Tamil. So we presumed that while he might catch some of English numbers, he will definitely not figure Hindi out! And sure enough I kept watching his face in the rear view mirror not a flinch! So I told my mom "Saat rupai dethe hein" (Lets give him 60 bucks). Safely deposited at home, the guy turned around and told us "Nahin chalega madam, assi rupai dheejiye" (Wont work Madam, give me 80 bucks). I was of course speechless, his Hindi was a lot better than mine and I had been tricked yet again! Needless to say the guy walked away with his 80 bucks or was it a 100? How am I to know.. I was dazed and confused! (By the way.. these days it is 120 bucks for the same distance.. boy am I growing old!)
That my friends is my bargaining power.. so if I hope to save any money I am in dire need of lessons! I promise not to blog about it , anyone game?
(img : http://www.literacy.lancaster.ac.uk, http://sfbay.redfin.com)
[No coming up section this time.. I might just have to rename it "Running Late" like the Indian trains or American airlines!]