pricing is cultural?

I flew home from Paris on the Norwegian airliner … the one that has the ‘smoke over’ windows. I requested an aisle seat, so I didn’t get to have that firsthand experience, however. As I went through an intermediary to purchase my ticket, I also didn’t realize that this particular trans-atlantic carrier — while super souped-up and new — in experience is similar to EasyJet or the various US domestic carriers whereby one pays for everything down to the headphones. I did not watch movies out of protest, or rather I hoped that it would encourage a productive ‘work time’ voyage. Instead I slept, doodled, re-watched a film by reading the subtitles of the woman diagonally in front of me. There was confusion over whether I had pre-ordered a meal, and so I bought a snack right before ‘my’ dinner came. I wasn’t in the mood for this confusion, and in principle asked for a refund on the snack — already eaten — since I had only ordered it upon being told I had no meal.

Before Paris was Dakar where I was with Toni and Flavio of Coletivo Coletores, a São Paulo-based art, technology and territory collective, during which I translated and negotiated a lot of prices for our group. In Dakar — and perhaps especially during the touristed period of the biennial — prices usually start at double. All three of us were on a budget, and so we didn’t eat out much, but rather had many an egg sandwich. Many variations on egg sandwich, something I had truly missed since living in the region. Ah, Maggi cube.

Toni liked to say we were living it ‘roots’, which is kinda like grassroots I suppose, and that about sums it up. What a wonderful experience to hustle around Dakar and Pikine with friends from Brasil and meeting old local friends and those visiting the art affair.

In Paris, I am reminded that you get exactly what you pay for. If you stand at the bar, coffee is about one-half the cost of seated coffee service. But sitting outside in Paris is so nice in Spring, so that sorta makes sense. And, if you rent a hotel room for one person, there is quite a resistance to having someone else come over in the night time.

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