On our night out on Ben Yehuda street I learned how to bargain. My friends and I went into a small jewelry store called “Jacob’s Jewelry” that read “sale”. We were surrounded by various types of jewelry and designs. My friend, Stephanie, found a Star of David necklace she absolutely loved. It had blue opal on one side and white opal on the other.

Jacob first told us in his thick Israeli accent that the necklace would be 140 shekels. Since it was reversible, Jacob considered the necklace to be worth the price of two necklaces. Our Israeli friend, Efrat, quickly complained about the price. Jacob asked us if we were students and where we were from. We chatted for a bit about the states and suddenly he lost the Israeli accent and was speaking with his real American accent.

Jacob took pity on us and said he would lower the price because we were students traveling. After a bit of back and forth bargaining, Stephanie paid 100 shekels. She walked out of the store with a smile on her face and the necklace around her neck.

After experiencing bargaining in Israel I have a new appreciation for the economy in Israel. In the United States the price of jewelry is set, no matter the circumstances. In Israel however a travelers story can impact the price drastically. Our little group decided to celebrate Stephanie’s purchase by going to Coffee Bean to talk about our lives.

-Jamie Erickson