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July 02, 2006

Big Fan

Before we moved to Crete it turns out I didn't get my research on the climate right. We wanted to move somewhere warmer, but it has just been ridiculously hot in the last two weeks or so - we've been getting the bus into town at 8am and already the electronic thermometers outside shops have been reaching 34°C.

We don't have air-con in our house, so decided to get a fan. I went to Expert, the electronics near Platiea 1866 last Monday to have a look at them. They had a big clump of them sitting on the floor.

"How much?" I asked

"€29" came the reply.

"And do you have..." I said, moving my hand around at shoulder height to indicate I wanted a higher fan on a pole.

"No, we are sold out. We will have them in two days"

"And how much?" I asked.

"One metre" came the assured reply, having firmly grasped the wrong end of the stick.

"And...erm...the price?" I said, changing tack.

"€19. It's cheaper".

Well, I didn't buy one of the floor fans, because really we wanted one that could be mounted higher up. However after another deathly still sweltering night we could take no more, so on Tuesday I returned and went straight for the jugular.

"Can I take one of these?" I said to a different shop assistant.

"Yes. €35".


"For cash?"


"OK, maybe I'll come back"

It was like deja vu with the DVD player all over again.

I don't know whether the younger shop assistants are on commission and so try and bump up the prices, or whether junior staff aren't empowered to offer a discount to clinch a sale, or whether they just genuinely don't know the price. Whatever, I walked away.

Later that evening after a drink in town we were just going to get the bus home, when I said to Claire, "Why don't you go in and ask about the fans - if the price is €29 then buy one".

I stood outside, and using a subtle nod and a wink directed her through the window towards the guy who had offered me the cheaper price. Sure enough, the fans were €29 again. Once Claire had smiled at me I walked into the shop to help complete the sale. As I did so, Mr €35 strode up to me and said "Can I help you?"

"No", I replied triumphantly, "I'm fine thanks"

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We're having a heatwave here too - temps up in the low thirties, with the tube as pleasant as ever. Would either of you like to swap??

I've been signed off work sick for a week to keep me off it - preventative medicine.

>> Would either of you like to swap??

I've got some unwanted World Cup stickers of Djibril Cisse if you are interested

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