About persistent hawkers

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persistence

persistence

The business people at bus stations who hawk things, and have drinking water, biscuits, sweets, peanuts, and other snacks all arranged meticulously in a ka basin, I want their persistence.

They come to your window, a group of them, each one shoving their ka basin of goods to your face, and you immediately shake your head to show disinterest. They may move on to the next window, but there will always be that one hawker who won’t budge. They pick a bottle of juice and lift it up to your window, stating the price. You shake your head. They insist. You shake your head again. They show you some face towels, lying that they were imported from a country whose name they cannot pronounce. You shake your head. They insist, but you maintain your position. And you avoid eye contact throughout. Because the second your eyes meet, you will cave into pressure and purchase a pair of grey boxers with bad fabric and a plastic toy watch that you’ll never need. And one of those tu small bottles of very strong, not-exactly-pleasant perfume that can never be washed off your clothes. They point at a pair of sunglasses, you shake your head. They raise a bottle of cold water, and point at the raging sun and the sweat on your forehead. You shake your head again and look away. You stare at the head of the person sitting in front of you intensely, as if it is the most interesting thing in the bus. The hawker then moves on to the next passenger. But 3 minutes later, they’ll come back to check if you’ve changed your mind about that can of air freshener that they had shown you earlier, or the floral, plastic jugs that come in 4 different sizes that they really, really want you to buy because you look like someone who absolutely loves plastic jugs. They sell everything, these hawkers.

No matter how hard you ignore them, they will pass by your window endlessly, raising that ka basin of goods to your face without giving up, until you accidentally make eye contact and then succumb, and find yourself buying a herbal libido booster and stockings for your journey.

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