Strolling down the busy-as-usual aisle I walked towards the vege stall for some green chillies and lemons.
As I stood in front of the stall waiting to be served, 10 secs passed before a Chinese man asked me what I wanted, which I dare say definitely not a taste of what about to be a disastrous 街市experience.
Me: Could I have 2 GREEN chillies please?
Him: Two? (with the tone that people actually buy 200 chillies at one go)
Me: Yes, 2 green ones please.
I even pointed at the boxes which had chillies other than red chillies. And he picked a green one and a yellowish white one.
Me: No no 2 green ones PLEASE.
Disaster about to start when he, as if doing a magic trick, just put them down and picked them up again - with the green and yellowish white chillies!
Me: I want green chillies. G-R-E-E-N.
Finally realised wot my lips shape was he accomplished which appeared to be a very difficult task.
Oh yes, I didn't realise my lemon buying experience was about to turn very sour too. They were selling for 5 for $2, so 40 cents each right. You would think. I took three and told him I had taken three lemons. Looking at me puzzled, he really was, I asked him how much was the total.
Him: 20 cents. (Handling me the chillies) Oh sorry 30 cents.
I could understand if he wanted to charge a little more coz I only bought TWO and I think he was new and didn't want his boss to know that he would sell things cheaply. OK so I let him go with that and handed him 50 cents. Also I figured he'd need to settle the chillies and lemon transactions separately because the amounts were too overwhelming for him.
Me: And how much are the 3 lemons?
Him: 5 for $2.
Me: Yes I know that. I took 3. So $1.20?
Him: (still) 5 for $2.
Then another girl came by and I thought OK she would wave her magic wand and end the unfortunate experience for me.
Him to her: 三个林檬多少钱？ (i.e. How much are 3 lemons?)
Her: It's 5 for $2 (again?!) so $1.50 for 3.
I think my small eyes just popped open at her.
Me: Isn't it $1.20?
Him: (STILL!!!) 5 for $2.
I should have just thrown those lemons at them but instead, being a nice person as I am, I just took the lemons out (not the chillies as I'd already overpaid for them!) and put them back.
Me: That's it!
I went to another stall and got my $1.20-for-3 lemons! To add salt to the wound, when I went to the supposedly cheaper section of the market, 20 cents for a lemon.
My palm found its way to my forehead and they had a little accident of banging. I should have been more anal about the 20 cents he still owed me.