Bargaining

In many parts of the world everything is bargained for, from bananas to ski jackets. Reading through guidebooks and talking to others, try to get a sense of what a reasonable price for any desired items might be.

If you can, also try and get a sense of how the bargaining is done. In some places your first move should be a silly, of-course-not kind of price, while in other locations that tactic will get you labeled a trouble maker and laughed out of the store. Listen to what others do before settling on a first offer. Don't start bargaining if you have no idea what something is worth, or should cost.

When in doubt, smile. Don't go for the bone on every purchase, and don't whack yourself for overpaying a small amount. Have fun with it, don't spend more than you wanted, and don't sweat the small change.

If it seems like too good a deal to be true, it is. If it seems so cheap, figure the exchange rate again to make sure you did not drop a zero (bring a pocket calculator with you, also handy for negotiating a price in a place where you cannot speak the language). If it is too cheap still it isn't a bargain. That guy has been running his shop longer than you've been a tourist, so assume he knows a real antique from a real copy.

The group of kids surrounding you without any parents around might be pickpockets. They might also just be friendly, in which case holding on to your wallet won't matter to them a jot (even better, put your wallet into a front pocket instead of behind, as front pockets are harder to pick. Also, if you want to check your wallet is nestled firmly in your jeans, do it discretely, as a good pickpocket will be watching for you to help him out by pointing to your wallet). If it looks like a part of town you don't want your kids in it probably is, so move on.