You are going to think I’m crazy, but here’s what happened today.
This morning, before I could really even take a proper sip of my coffee, my brother knocked on my window (was he out in the yard?), and told me someone was outside selling baskets and wanted to know if I was interested.
My brother and I walked down to the front gate (come to think of it, the only gate on this property) and I met with the man, Mr Baal.
I only caught a glimpse of the baskets where he was standing, before I kind of shivered and went, “Ooooohh…..”
By the time he pulled the baskets out and I could see them better. I couldn’t deny my interest. One of them was about three feet high, the other smaller one, about two feet high. They were both in the typical Caribbean (and by that I mean AMERINDIAN) style. There are mixtures of different sides of the plant, one darker and one lighter in the baskets, and the style was authentic. He seemed quite surprised that I could describe it as such, but maybe that’s why he bargained with me.
He told me that the materials were so hard to come by, because the place where you can get the plant that’s stripped to get the fibres to make the baskets, are slowly being reduced. “Is only dey planting one set ah marijuana…” he said and this means you have to go deeper and deeper in the forest to get them. I understood, because this is the story of the forest in any case.
When he told me the price, I nearly fell through the cemented yard’s ground! In Trinidad & Tobago currency $110 and $65! That’s like less than USD$20 and USD$12 for each one. What’s even more amazing, is that I got him to sell me both of them for TT$150!!
They were beautiful… he took a cheque from me, and I got two baskets.
In Port of Spain, they sell baskets (not even hand crafted but mass produced ones) for something like TT$250 or TT$300. That I could get two at such a good price was a stroke of fortune!
My mother is a basket freak! She has dozens of them in her house in Barbados, and they’re not decorative. She uses them as storage, and they’re extremely useful. She would have been proud of me for not only the bargain, but the beauty and the quality of the baskets.
It wasn’t until I was admiring them in my living room that I remembered what Astra had said, “You will have something at a bargain. 50% off. You will go to buy something and get it very, very cheap. A really cheap bargain.”
**laughing** Not quite what I expected, but hey… she spoke the truth.