Monday, July 30, 2007


This is Riad.

He was selling umbrellas on Farm Gate's pedestrian overpass. He studies in Class Five.

A customer wearing turqoise asked the price of a matching turqoise umbrella. 110 Taka, said Riad. The customer checked it out, then offered 90. "Sir, I have one price, it is 110 Taka," Riad insisted. The customer walked off. Riad did not capitulate. After a few minutes, customer reappeared and bought the umbrella for 110.

I asked Riad if he knew the customer would return and pay the asking price. Yes, I was sure, he said. But how did he know? "If they are a Hi-Fi customer, they will huff and puff, but then they will go to the other side of the overpass, price the umbrellas there, and find my price was the best. So they come back." So where do the umbrellas come from? "From Saudi, sir". But it says made in China. "Our people get it from Saudi." Oh well.

Riad has been doing this for thirteen months. It's really his Dad's business, and he helps out whenever he has time off from school. Although he seemed to be proud of helping out his Dad, I also sensed some embarrassment at being caught outside school like this.

Riad (under the umbrella) and friends.


Yasmin said...

Well he is a true sales person. Good for him.

Thanks for the pictures, they give me a glimpse back to my home.

ulysses said...

Hi Yasmin,

Thanks for your comments. It is amazing how good a salesperson some of these kids are! Cheers.