Being a tourist and walking through the markets of a third world country, can be quite confronting if you do not know what to expect or how to handle it. The first time I embarked the markets, I felt very uncomfortable as one after one people would approach me and beg for me to check out their shop. However, this time around I was a lot more prepared and ready to take on the markets. So this is what I have gathered from my personal experiences.
1. If you just want to walk by
If you simply have no time or spent the last of your money for the day on that full body massage and the to die for cocktail, but still need to walk by the markets to get back to your hotel, you will still be approached. If you do get approached, say you are on your way home, say you have no money left or just keep on walking. They do and will not find this rude, as the person walking behind you will then be quickly approached.
2. If you just want a snoop
If you do not want to spend money, but want to take a quick look through the markets, it’s OK to tell a white lie. If they beg you, say “I give you a special discount” or “cheap prices” simply just say you are having a look. If this isn’t enough, then say you will be back tomorrow with money.
3. If you get followed
Personally, I have been followed a few times. Just keep walking, they will not go too far away from their shop. You can even say that you have no money and will come and find them tomorrow. Tip: if you say these things, the people of Indonesia have very good memory and will remember you the next day, so if you plan on walking past the next day, be prepared to be approached by the same people. And make some time to quickly check it out!
4. If you get asked for you name/ where you are staying
The very first time my mum and I arrived in Bali, the taxi driver gave us some very important advice. Almost everyone ask’s for your name and where you are staying. We were told to never give out personal information to the people that own the shops because they will show up at your hotel with a heap of “great deals”. If you can avoid it, do so, if you can’t then mention another hotel. Also, if you can avoid giving out your name, do so, however this information isn’t as bad.
5. Lastly making the purchase
Because these people are unfortunately living in poverty, they will try to sell you whatever you want for a very high price. If you have the money to buy it at the price they set, then go for it. But if you are on a budget holiday or are on the last of what you have, there are ways to work the magic of bargaining. If you get offered a price, state then the price you would buy it for. If they say no, then state that the shop down the street said they would give it to you for that price. Be persistent. If they still do not agree, start to walk away, then will you get the agreement. There is no way they would risk not selling to a customer.