TRAVELLER ZOO – Hagglius shamelis


A hagglius is never happier than when getting 47 cents off the price of a bamboo flute. And never more miserable than when forced to pay $3.28 for a tuktuk ride he tried to get for under $2.
Identifying call: ‘They expect you to bargain. It’s part of their culture.’

* During 2015, illustrator Simon Letch and I have been contributing a weekly cartoon to the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, introducing some of the curious species we meet on the road. Time to release some of them into the wilds of cyberspace…


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5 responses to “TRAVELLER ZOO – Hagglius shamelis

  1. Stan

    When I was in Bali in the early seventies an Australian we met bought a wooden carving for the asking price i.e. no bargaining. The owner of the losman we were staying in very gently chided him by pointing out that the wood carver had got paid a lot more for his work that someone who just grew rice and as he said “you paid much too much;we don’t want everyone just carving things for tourists”. Should tourists just pay whatever is asked (which may be very still cheap for them) and let the free market forces determine how people decide how to make their living ?
    I don’t have a answer to that.

    • Me neither, Stan. Browsing the souks to use up our last dirhams in Marrakesh we asked the price of an elaborate mirror. We decided we couldn’t possibly carry it on the plane, and walked off, happily thinking we’d saved ourselves around $200. By the time the trader had chased us for a few minutes, dropping the price with every step, we’d only saved ourselves $50 by not buying it. Damn! We felt so cheated!

  2. I love the idea, Richard. Can’t wait for the next releases!

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