Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Basket Case

We've been in our apartment for 5 months and there are still some odds and ends we need to buy. We need rugs on our cold marble floors and decoration and/or art on our white, white walls. Equally necessary, although much more boring, we need laundry baskets. One for darks, one for lights and one for the clothes waiting to be ironed. There are men that ride around neighborhoods with baskets, mats and tiny lawn furniture for children piled so high that you wonder how they can get around. I put the word out that I wanted some baskets and one day last week the bicycle bearing baskets pulled up at our home. Perfect! So I thought. I saw a basket the size I wanted and he said he'd come back the next day with two identical ones. But, the guard, having quickly inspected the basket, said it was no good, the bottom had frayed. The basket man said he'd bring a replacement the next day, but asked me to keep the basket as he said trying to reload it would throw of his equilibrium. We discussed a price (prices are quoted high and customers are expected to negotiate) and finally agreed on one for three identical baskets. The next day he came back with two baskets. This time my trusty housekeeper was there and started to send the guy away because the lids didn't fit properly. But, the man said he'd be back the following day and, again, asked me to keep the baskets because reloading them would be quite impossible. When he came back for the third time, he had three baskets each of a different size. I was not happy, the one thing I had been clear about was that I wanted all three the same size. He asked for his payment. I was tired and not happy so I said I wouldn't pay our discussed price because it was too much to pay for something I wasn't pleased with (and frankly, what he was asking was, by local standards, a lot of money). We went back and forth and finally I told him just to take the baskets away. I think the thought of trying to reload the three baskets, plus the ones he left at our house, on his bike made him cave because he accepted my payment, which was still a good amount of money.
Whew! It's so much easier going to Target or Carrefour to pick up some simple, plastic laundry baskets, but it's also much less interesting and does nothing to improve my negotiation skills.

Arthur is very pleased with the baskets. And, I realize in looking at this photo that the baskets actually appear to look the same size...but, really they're not at all!!!


  1. ha! I love that they're not the same size. It adds character to the boring task of laundry!

    Love that pic of Arthur ... get one of him IN the baskets!

  2. ohh...good idea, now if i can get him still long enough to get in the basket:)