Come and look my shop!
The Goan shops have a different way about them. Usually, up north, you can just tell them in no uncertain terms to b*ugger off and keep walking - reasonably effective for hassle minimisation. However in Goa, they play up on being all nice and friendly. There are these sarong sellers on the beach every 5 meters they have some sort of tent with the same variety of sarongs, beach wear (of the $2 variety), fishermen pants and other hippie clothing. One shop is not distinguishable from another, really.
But the women come up to you 'come and look my shop' to which you say 'I'm sorry but I don't want to look your shop' - then you get the sad puppy dog eyes, the handshake and introductions "my name is Crystal, what is your name? Where you from?...You promise you look tomorrow?", the extraction of commitment to look at yet another range of loud sarongs etc.
And they remember you! And they come after you!
And so when you do give up and go and look their shop...and offer a very fair price for a $0.20 piece of cotton, the wounded look they give you for such an insult! No, no, madam, this is very high quality (bullsh*it), I cannot possibly go lower than 450 rupees (about US$10!). Then it's "I come down, you go up, this is how it works". And about 20 minutes later you're still paying twice the price you should for something you don't really even want, the line changes to "it cost me 250 rupees (bullsh*it again) I cannot go lower than 300."
I was never too fussed about Indian price versus foreigner price till I learned in Delhi just how low Indian price actually is. In the market for a silk bedcover, I went shopping with the cousin of a friend of mine. I was expecting to pay around 3000, maybe 2000 with the local assistance. Watching the conversation being held entirely in Hindi (though understanding the general idea of things - "oh no madam if you wish to pay 1200 rupees, you can have this one!" was obvious) - I was suddenly informed to pay the man 1000 rupees. The man then put the cover in a bag all the while continuing to argue with my shopping guide - 'pay another 100 rupees' - I am given the bag as money is exchanged and we start to walk away...disagreement over price continuing still.
Sooooo Indian price is THAT low.
Regardless, the economy that exists in India is completely different to the one that exists for tourists, which makes me feel less bad about bargaining hard for the elephant tablecloth (why did I buy that??). My camel safari guide earned 50 rupees a day ($1.20). A rickshaw driver will demand 100 rupees to take you 2 kilometers. And yet a trained hairdresser, who told me she studied for a year to do her trade, charges 100 rupees for 30 minutes of work, much of which she wouldn't see as it would go to the owner of the shop.
...OK 'trained' is probably an overstatement, as in response to my request ("follow the line of the previous cut, take some weight off the ends") she gave me a blank look and then said
You want straight or you want U?
And proceeded to take out a pair of what can best be described as safety scissors.
OK, 'U' I guess...