After 4 days of intense buying, negotiations, and contact-building, my cravings for colourful gems have been temporarily abated.
I spent a fair bit of money, mainly for gems for my personal collection. There were some business-related expenditures as well, and the unveiling of the new project on The Gem Hunter page will be revealed soon as soon as the air clears up so I can take some decent pictures of the project.
It's always a bit more interesting to attend a fair on the last day, when most vendors will be willing to lower their prices so they make a little more profit, or at least recoup their costs. I didn't buy anything on the last day (Sunday), but I did want to walk around and take in information.
I ended the day at a Cambodian vendor's booth, one from whom I bought a number of things over the numerous times he has come to Singapore, in order to ask him to help me find a few items from his home country. He, nice as he is, willingly agreed, and we will continue our correspondence.
While there, I was appalled at the nasty, disrespectful behaviour of a few groups of middle-aged women. They were hard-bargaining and very rude towards the vendor, giving ridiculously low prices. One even gave less money than was agreed upon, insisting that she had none left, and walked off with the items.
While they were going about this, one or two of them even turned towards me, as if expecting me to agree with their unjust prices and approve of their disgusting, disgraceful behaviour. I never deigned to even acknowledge their presence, completely ignoring them instead.
Having some idea of the market for gemstones and jewellery, I knew that he likely ended up with a loss on some of the items that were sold.
I am ashamed to say that these middle-aged women (they were certainly no ladies) were Singaporean, having heard the way they spoke. I felt bad for the vendor, and hope that he will not view the rest of local Singaporeans in a negative light.
Seeking bargains is one thing. Behaving as if you deserve rock-bottom prices at the expense of another person is quite another. Some Singaporeans like to complain about the uncouth behaviour of certain foreign workers in Singapore. Yet, are some of us so different ourselves?