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Day 215: Instead of cash, use your chicken!

First of all, to all of my loyal fans (i.e. my Mom, my boyfriend's mother, and the other 5 or 6 people who read this blog everyday) here are some other fun things I have just written:

Fashion recap for True Blood episode 4.06: I wish I were the moon for You Know You Love Fashion

Us 30somethings are still "it" for My Thirty Spot

And now, onto the medieval peasant carnival street fair show!

Hey nonny nonny, bitches! It's time to go to the faire!

So, it's Fringe Festival time out here, which to some people means "Cheap plays that foster young, emerging talent!" And to me means, "Cute cheapy stuff from street vendors!"

Strolling about the street faire (the extra "e" is not a Canadian inflection, it's just how I see the word in my head) makes me feel like a cuter-looking medieval peasant out looking at the market during the joust festival, or whatever. I love seeing people out there with the stuff that they make themselves, especially when that stuff is totally cute.

Forsooth good sir, your handmade wares are v. pleasing to my eye!
My friend Striped Giraffe (*note: I don't actually mean a stuffed animal, this is just the internet name of a human person) suggested that I could write a post about bartering, which I was thinking about today while I was looking at all of the cute things. However, as much as these artisans may appreciate me giving them a chicken, rather than money, I didn't have anything with me to barter with. (And, although urban chicken farming is gaining popularity in some areas, I don't think my cat would let me get away with that.)

Striped Giraffe also suggested that, in order to do a really good post about bartering, I need to take an anthropological trip to Mexico to research it. I totally agree, and I will see you all in three months. Just kidding! I don't have enough money to go to Mexico. Unless I can barter for a plane ticket... hmm... maybe they would accept some nail polish and/or some withdrawn library books?

- Italian School/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

Good neighbour, wouldst thou accept this bag of grain for a new pair of hose?

So anyway, in medieval times, people would trade their wheat or fur pelts or whatnot for... other things medieval-type people needed, such as milk or... I don't know... mead? (*That terrible sound you hear is the collective gnashing of teeth of every prof I had during my undergraduate history program. Sorry, guys! I forgot everything the day after my final exams!)

Bartering is alive and well today, particularly in prisons, where inmates can trade cigarettes for other stuff that they need, such as protection, or spoons to dig their way out. (*Everything I learned about prison I learned from The Wire mixed with The Shawshank Redemption)

Good day madam, wouldst thou accept this trade of two cartons of cigarettes for a bushel of your produce?

There is a thriving internet bartering community, like this guy who started off with a paperclip and bartered his way to a new house. There's this cool new company called Tradyo where you can track down stuff in your area, and then barter your stuff. Or something. I don't know - I don't have a smartphone, or live in a big enough city for Tradyo to exist here yet. Some more tech-savvy person should try this app and report back!

So bartering = a great idea. You just have to make sure you have something to trade with and somebody who's willing to accept that as payment, instead of money.

What do you guys thing? Have you ever bartered?

6 comments:

~Carla~ said...

*desperately searching fr a paper clip* :P

I love bartering, and will do it whenever the opportunity presents itself! :)

Lane from In Mint Condition said...

Oh you suckered me in with medieval artwork. I would give anything to have a time machine transplant me back to the 1400's. So that I could barter with my chicks. Or unfertilized eggs. And eat with my hands :)

Bryan said...

"Bartering is alive and well today, particularly in prisons, where inmates can trade cigarettes for other stuff that they need, such as protection, or poons to dig their way out."

At the risk of being really, really vulgar, if inmates can trade cigarettes for "poons", maybe prison isn't so bad.

Annabelle said...

Bryan - hee hee hee. Typo corrected.

Super Frugalette said...

I haven't bartered anything yet. But I am thinking about bartering child care with my friend Megan (she does not know this yet ;) )

sAm said...

I barter whenever possible - currently, I have a gym membership for a couple of hours at the front desk every week, and I have two cell phones (my son & I) for one afternoon of cleaning up somebody's house & getting her kids off the bus until she gets home (1/2 hour) - she added us to her plan. The way I see it, it's usually win/win. We both get what we want with no huge investment for the other.

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