Libya lacks a lot of things, one of them is customer service which drives me crazy sometimes. I wrote a post once in 2006 about my shopping experiences: here. Nothing much has really changed since then. Maybe I should look at it as kind of a challenge - but there are days when I really don't feel up to the challenge.
Two weeks ago when I was on my way to pick up my son from school I popped into a shop that sells lighting and electrical supplies to buy a few light-bulbs While I was in there I saw the most exquisite lamp hanging behind the counter right next to the cash register. It was gorgeous - I was mesmerized! I asked the little old man that ran the shop how much it cost and he said 'We just got that. We haven't put a price on it yet'. This is something that happens quite often in Libya. The shopkeepers usually don't even bother to try to check the price for you either and I find it so annoying. I left the shop with my light-bulbs and decided it just wasn't my day for an impulse buy.
Yesterday I was running a little early and decided to stop in at the shop to see if the lamp was still there. Sure enough it was hanging right where I left it two weeks before with the same old man standing next to it. We exchanged greetings and then I asked him how much the lamp cost. 'We just got that. We haven't put a price on it yet' the man replied. I just looked at him in disbelief. I examined the look on his face to see if he was joking. Nothing! Blank! I stood there for a few moments waiting for him to do something... check the price in a catalog maybe, or call someone to check on the price.... but no - he did nothing. Finally, I said 'Asalamualaikum' and turned around and walked out of the shop. I decided that there was no point in discussing it with him.
I'm still thinking about that lamp.... I'm so tempted to go back into that shop again and see if he says the same thing. ... am I feeling up to the challenge?... maybe... it's a fabulous lamp... I really want it.