Good Time in Saudi Arabia

When I was in Saudi Arabia, I made friends with a Baharani gold/diamond merchant who was allowed to visit the allied camps. I was no longer in Intelligence, but the habit of making contacts with the locals dies hard.

Most of his stuff was handmade, and he sold nothing below 18 carats, usually 22. He called 14k “trash”.

He talked to me as a close friend, and was amazed at what poor hagglers the Americans. They just paid whatever price he asked!

Soon, I took on the role of haggler, and helped lots of people make purchases; even our commander. We two looked like something from Monty Python, haggling away, and it was great fun.

Mister Yusef would ply me with lots of cups of tea just like these. We would sit cross legged and sip that scalding hot tea haggling away. (And he kept me informed of what the locals were up to. Like I said, old habits).

Those were great days.

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