February 20, 2008

La Gringa buys a new broom

broom, La Ceiba, HondurasLa Gringa's new broom

Really scraping the bottom of the blogging barrel here, huh? And, no, it isn't to fly off on either. :-) It just goes to show that even the most mundane things can be a different experience here in Honduras.

broom salesman, La Ceiba, HondurasI just thought you might be interested in Honduras' answer to the Fuller Brush Man of the U.S. 1950's.

These men walk around colonias (neighborhoods) selling an assortment of brooms, brushes, and other household cleaning tools. It is an incredible load. Sometimes you can barely see the man underneath the products and since all the handles are wood, I imagine that it is quite heavy.

I have been complaining about my broom. I keep one broom for outside and one for inside, but somehow, Frank always got a hold of my inside broom and used it to 'scrape' the sidewalks, causing the bristles to get all messed up, which in turn makes it difficult to sweep as the mangled bristles seem to send the dirt flying in every direction when I sweep. A minor annoyance, but I decided to take a look at what this guy was selling.

broom salesman, La Ceiba, HondurasHe was asking L.80 (U.S.$4.23) for the brooms. I had a wad of cash in my hand but not that much because the last time I bought one in the grocery store, I think I only paid about L.40 or L.50 (US $2.12-$2.65). I told him I didn't have enough, mostly to see if he was trying to overcharge me. A quick retreat from the original price usually means that the vendor was just giving it a shot to see if you would fall for it. He asked how much I had. I counted it and said L.55.

Then he offered to give me credit for L.25 (US $1.32) until the next time he came around − in about a month! That always makes me feel so bad when these poor people offer to give me credit! So, I asked him to wait a minute and I scrounged around the house and found L.25 in my water money stash.

So, I got my new broom and he made his sale − without having to finance the extra $1.32 for me. We were both happy.
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