An important aspect of having children (and we're expecting twins) is
having to buy all kinds of stuff before the little ones are actually
there. This means that whole new worlds are opening to you.
Take prams. We are going to need a pram. So we went to the pramshop. The baby supermarket. A couple of baby supermarkets. Of course, I had never been there before. Well, both places we went to had loads of prams, but not for twins... both told us to go to a specialized twin shop, located in somebody's barn in a tiny village in the countryside.
So, that's where we went. A friend drove us there and we looked at all sorts of prams and decided that the most expensive one was the only one we wanted. We do need to fold it up every time after we use it since our downstairs hall is extremely narrow, and we need good wheels to go hiking in rough areas, of course. So, the hunt for a 2nd hand pram of that type (the Urban Jungle, one of the most common twin prams locally) has begun.
That hunt brought us to Nijmegen, a city in the east of the country, where a lady wanted to sell us her Urban Jungle Duo including two cots (those are needed for the first 6 months) and some accessories for 625 euros (believe me, that's cheap). And here our horror story begins.
When I called the lady and said we were going to come by train, she explained what bus number to get from the station, where to get out and how to walk to her place. That was all extremely simple, but she needed a few minutes to explain the directions in a ve-ry clear voice and in a ve-ry well ar-ti-cu-la-ted man-ner, repeating several details at least four times (of vital importance was locating the entrance of a few appartment buildings where she did NOT live).
When we got there, we were invited to... her hall. We have never seen
her living room. She was a granny and wanted to know all about our
babies but did not even mention what she had used the pram for
(grandkids, I suppose). Then she wanted to proceed to handing over
money and pram.
For me, there's something that comes in between... actually looking at and testing the pram. The lady got very nervous at all my weird requests , like "Can I try it out outside?"
We actually wanted to get the seats off and the cots on to see how it looked with cots, and that was something she did not approve of at all. She did not know how to convert it and while we were working on it she kept trying to convince us that it was not necessary to try it out because the thing was fine, anyway.
Then we discovered that the one she was selling was not what we
needed. It was the older type where each cot needs to be fixed with
four buttons and four clasps, all in places a normal person can't
reach, whereas with the newer version the cots click in and out. So we
told her it was , unfortunately, not what we were looking at after
all. Then she went to any length to try and convince us to buy it
anyway, she was finding solutions for us like
- Instead of getting the cots out and folding it every time, just hang it on the ceiling of your hall
- no, that's too low
- well, don't fold it, just put it in your hall and walk along it
- no , that's too narrow
- well, bring it upstairs every time, then
- no, that's too heavy
- no, it's not
- Well, we think it is, we are going to look for the other type
- But I had this other person who was willing to pay 650 for it!
- Well, Mrs, you'd better call that person right now, because we're not going to buy it
- But I didn't call him back yet because I was going to sell it to you
- Yes, but we're not buying it , so you can call the other guy now!
I have no idea what she was thinking - she was trying to make us feel
guilty for not buying something that is over 600 euros if we turn out
to not like it..?
It was very nice of her to not sell it to the other guy before we came over, but why didn't she want to call the other guy when we didn't want it?
Oh, and the instruction manual was a photocopy...? And after a while she came up with the original...? Is she trading in illegal imitations of Urban Jungle Duos?
When we walked back to the bus stop (along those appartments where she did NOT live) we felt like we had escaped the cooking pot.