That Time I Almost Made an Egyptian Man Cry in a Market...

I've decided to switch gears in the emails I send out to subscribers and turn it into more of a "behind the scenes" newsletter!  I think it'll be more fun for you guys to read and different from the content you're getting on the blog.  I'll be including stories from my life that explain the behind-the-scenes good times, struggles, and the "why" behind my blog and some of its posts.

This content will only be available through subscribing to Flashback Summer emails, and I look forward to being able to show you guys a different side of myself that may not come through on the blog as often!

To give you a peek of what some of the new emails will be like, here is what went out earlier this week to current subscribers:

While living in Egypt, I studied Arabic everyday with my family and delved into the culture full-on.  I loved practicing my language skills in the local markets and prided myself in my tough bargaining.

I went with my sister and a friend that didn't know Arabic to a market, and the friend wanted some nail polish. I took it upon myself to bargain for her in Arabic.  The man told us they would be eight pounds each, and I got him down to five. He told that price in English to my friend. As he started to bag them, he then said in English the price would be three for thirty pounds and winked to my sister and I.

Infuriated, I thought, "He's trying to pull one over on me! Didn't he just hear me speak Arabic?! We agreed on five each! Just because I'm white doesn't mean I'm stupid, geez!"

So... in proper Egyptian style, I began to flail my arms and exclaim that we had a deal, basically reaming the guy out for trying to cheat us.

When I stopped I noticed he looked horrified and his eyes were a little glassy. He said it would be no problem, five each, and started putting them in the bag.  My sister then whispered that he was just joking with our friend... I then remembered the wink. Dangit. I had missed something in that cross-cultural communication.  I apologized profusely and slinked away, very red.

Moral of the story: I attributed the price change to the guy raising prices because I was white, when in reality he was being friendly and just joking. I learned to keep from jumping to conclusions in cross-cultural situations if I was feeling offended and to instead try to figure out the "why" behind a person's actions first. It would've saved me a lot of embarrassment in this situation!

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