I was lavishly enjoying my morning sunbath on a private beach in Italy, as courtesy of one of my brother’s friends that owned the hotel, even though the entire beach in Senigallia, which is also known as “The velvet beach”, has sands equally soft and silky everywhere.
While laying on my sunbed, waiting for the sun to completely emerge from the sea, a shadow was cast over me. I feared it was a cloud, but no, it was just another Hindustani salesman. This one was particularly young. I don’t think he was twenty yet, but close. He had a pretty large and dazzling smile that made a nice contrast with his dark skin. He was very polite and a bit shy, but not too shy to open his ambulant stall under my nose and try to sell me something. “I have beautiful earrings, bracelets and rings just sent from India last week“, said the young salesman. Oh, wow…. thought I. I’ve been waiting all my life to buy some Hindustan tinplate. I felt sorry to tell him I’m not interested, but I really didn’t want to buy anything. I thought he was going to go, but no, he asked me where am I from. Romania, I replied. “And you don’t want to bring your friends some nice souvenirs from your holiday“? So he wasn’t gonna give up too easily, didn’t he? Ok, let’s play then. The beach was still empty and I didn’t had much to do anyway, so I thought I could practice my Italian some more. “Fine, show me the finest you got”.
His face lit on the spot. He brought out from hidden compartments his most valuable jewels. Yikes! They looked as meager as the previous ones, only bigger and even more colourful. You could had easily traveled without night signals, just wearing those, and be sure to be seen from distance. “Look how beautiful they are“, said the boy full of hopes. I really didn’t had the heart to disappoint him, so I searched for something decent to buy, hopefully less shiny. I finally found a bracelet, even if it was for men. Nevertheless, I asked the price. “That’s a really beautiful piece from India. I usually sell that model with 20 euros, but for you I’ll leave it at 15 euros“, said the businessman he suddenly metamorphosed into from the shy guy. I burst out laughing. I knew I didn’t looked my age, but I was 7 years older then him for sure. Who was he trying to fool? In our country fairs you can buy similar trifles with 3 euros.
I finally thank him, but no, thanks. He was puzzled. The bargain was slipping from his hands. He couldn’t believe it. He had to try to save it. “Fine, you can have it for 10 euros“, was his miffed answer. No, that’s still too much for the bracelet. “But you’re my first customer today. You have to buy something, or else I wont’t sell anything all day“. What did he say? Did he just leaked some classified intelligence? The poor guy was superstitious!?! That wasn’t too good for a young entrepreneur. I couldn’t resist to use it against him. He must learn his lessons. Fine, said I. I would give you a fair price for it. I will buy the bracelet with 5 euros, so you’ll be content you did sell something to your first client of the day, and I’ll be pleased with the bracelet. It’s a win-win situation. “No, you have to give me at least 7 euros“. Nope, 5 euros, or the deal is off. He finally agreed, even if it wasn’t a very good deal for him. But the superstition was stronger. The superstition had him in its power. Too bad he missed the chance to free himself.