As an American living in Europe, I can attest that going to flea markets here can be quite frustrating. Truth be told, I have had some extremely amazing experiences in both Belgium and Holland flea markets, but I live in Germany, and Germans on the other hand, don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘haggle‘. For instance, I wanted to buy a painting from this guy at the local flea market on Saturday and so I say to him “How much for the painting?” He responds “25”. I rebuttal with a solid “10”. He stares at me, and repeats “25”. Awkward pause.
I figure, he may be insulted or something, that I offered him ‘such a low price’ so I go up a bit to 12. He stubbornly repeats “25”. I think to myself, ok, maybe I need to be somewhat more verbal, and I expound somewhat and say “I would be willing to pay 12 for the paining.”. He scoffs and me and says “Leave now.” It’s incidents like that that are a constant reminder that I am the foreigner, and I somehow always end up having the feeling as if I’m in a target=”_blank”>Monty Python sketch.
Of course, it is almost equally pathetic and naive to think that it is my god given right to verse the Germans on the finer points of haggling…but we did win the war after all, amirite? Thank god there are an abundance of Turks and Albanians living in Germany, at least they know how to haggle.
So there was this HUGE flea market/parade/festival in my part of town over the weekend, and I just simply knew that I’d find something for my steadily growing retro gaming collection. If you haven’t checked out Retro Scavenger: Episode 01 – Nintendo 64 you should, to get an idea of what I’m trying to achieve here. For those of you too lazy to press the link, or are still using dial-up and don’t want to gobble up your precious bandwidth, here are the rules again.
1. LOCATION: You have to buy the console and or games at a flea-market or a second-hand/good will. You cannot buy it online at amazon or Ebay etc.
2. PRICE: You cannot spend more than 20 on said console, or 3 on one particular game.
3. CONDITION. The console or game(s) must be in working condition.
4. PERIPHERALS: If said console comes with appropriate games and original controller/ power supply.
OK, I’m gonna be upfront with you guys here (all 3 of die-hard fans of this series, Hi Mom!) I actually broke cardinal rule number 2. I spend 3.50 on not one, but TWO games. I know, I know, it’s bad. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “He goes and makes all these wacky rules, and then he completely ignores them!” Do I think I’m about retro-retribution? No dear readers, I am simply human. I actually tried to convince the nice young Albanian woman that I simply couldn’t go over 6 for the two games. I started telling her about my moral stance ,my standards, the golden rules, and I actually had her convince, and then she just turns around, rattles out something in Albanian (that’s a language right?) and her pops simply starts shaking his head. and put his foot down firmly and said 6.50, not a cent less. I figured he must have a kick ass blog too, so I begrudgingly agreed.
So, for an all time low price of 21.50 euros, I got the following:
Thrustmaster Steering Wheel : 5
Nintendo 64 Jumper Pack: 2
Nintendo 64 Game:F-1 World Grand Prix: 3
Nintendo 64 Game: target=”_blank”>Excitebike 64: 3
Nintendo Entertainment System Game: target=”_blank”>Rad Racer: 3.25
Nintendo Entertainment System Game: target=”_blank”>Shadowgate: 3.25
Sony PlayStation 2 Game: target=”_blank”>RC Revenge Pro: 1
Sony PlayStation 2 Game EA Sports NHL 2005: 1
So all in all, I think that it was a pretty good find. I totally scored on the two PS2 games, I mean, 1 euro a piece?! (Turkish brother and sister sellers) and the N64 games and the Jumper Pack were almost over the limit, but I managed to get the games for 3 a piece. He actually wanted 15 euros for the two games and the jumper pack initially, but I got him down to 8…he was Albanian BTW! In all honesty, I wasn’t exactly sure what the Jumper Pack was when I bought it. But I figured for 2 bucks, it was worth the gamble. I kind of had the feeling that the jumper pack would either a.) make the N64 go faster or b.) be something akin to a memory card. I was totally stoked when I found out that it was a memory card, because I’ve been jonesing to play Zelda (see my last post), but you need a memory card to save your game that my N64 regretfully didn’t come with.
One major bummer though, is that the pedals for the Thrustmaster weren’t in the box. I just assumed that they would be, stupid me. The Egyptian woman who sold it to me said that it ‘wasn’t even used’. Moral of the story? Always look! I had hoped that I would find a console or two at the flea-market, but all-in-all I think I made out pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, there were consoles to had, but they weren’t what I was looking for. There was one dude selling a PS2, which “hasn’t been used” right out of the box for 60 euros. Seriously? I haven’t checked prices, but that does seem a bit pricey, even it if it was supposedly in mint condition. It’s not a retro console, and it’s not new enough to actually want to play (yes, I realize that I am a walking dichotomy myself, after having just purchased two PS2 games, so sue me), so the price isn’t justifiable in my mind.