Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Negotiation

Walking by the servizio in front of the prestigious Hotel Danieli,
I snapped this photo and kept walking.
After returning home I took a closer look, and had to post it up.
There's so much to look at in this picture.
By all appearances, there's a negotiation taking place.
The guy in the yellow shirt (we'll call him "Dad") has probably never done this before.  Sure, he's talked-turkey over details and price before, but not over a gondola cruise.  Meanwhile, the gondolier probably couldn't count the number of times he's been in this position.

Originally I was going to analyze the images here and offer some insights and opinions, but today I'll let you do that.

I'll post a few questions, and you all can answer them.
Many will just read, think, chuckle and move on.
But some of you, my favorite readers, will break the "fourth wall" and post a comment.
Come on, I dare you!

a.) where is this young family from?
You can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear. 
Take a look at "Mom's" flip-flops and "Junior's" Crocs.
b.) Is "Dad" ready to make the deal?
How intent is he on grinding down the price?
He already appears to be reaching into his pocket.
c.) It would seem that there's a fourth member of the family in the stroller.
How many of you who row a gondola have brought a stroller on your gondola?
Any thoughts, wisdom, or opinions on the subject?

d.) Obviously, "Dad" is intent on making a deal.
The gondolier is doing something there with his hand that tells me he's not inclined to bring the rate down.
In your opinion, did he negotiate a lower price with the gondolier?
e.) Did they reach a deal?
Did the family climb aboard and take a cruise with the gondolier they were talking to in this photo?
Like I said, some of the folks reading this won't offer opinions, but the ones who do, well, you are my favorite readers.  :o)


Mike C said...

Well, judging by the shoes I would say that they look American, however if you notice the wedding band on "Dad" it's on his right hand, Americans tend to wear their on the left. As for the deal, dunno.

DG Beat said...

A.) It's easy to say the family could be from America because of the flip flops and Crocs, but look at the stroller. The handles on the stroller look a lot like strollers made by Maclaren. Although they sell those all over the globe Maclaren is a British company. So I'm going to say the family may be British.

B.) If this family is British then there's a better chance that the father might know a bit of Italian. Maybe he's a business man that deals with folks from many countries and has picked up some of the language. I say there's a "better" chance because Americans are notorious for only speaking English. I believe they have reached the deal and while "dad" is reaching for his money they are chatting about something else, like the route they will take, or what sites they may see on the tour.

C.) I've never actually taken a stroller with me on a cruise. The child has always been removed and the stroller left on the dock.

D.) The thumb on the gondolier's hand looks like it's between his pointer finger knuckle and middle finger knuckle. I'm thinking he reached over and took the little kid's nose.

E.) Yes. They took the ride.

Tamás said...

Evil comment: I think the family members are too slim to be american!

Practical comment: If a particular nationality is desired, maybe one should search for the make of the lady's jeans, with that flower (?) pattern applied at the rear.

Incredulous comment: Is it possible to bargain at all? I thought the fixed hourly rates, as well as set prices for extras (music, night ride) are published by the Ente Gondola every year as mandatory regulations.

Yeah, I've heard sometimes one can ride for just 40 euros in side canals with a rookie gondolier, with no invoice of course, but to defy the price fixing in broad daylight at the Danieli?

Lawsuit aware comment: I think a deployed stoller belongs on the Lido ferry, just like other wheeled vehicles. Alternatively it should be folded and taken into the hold of the gondola, while the mother safely embraces her baby.

However, I'm not sure if Venice gondoliers like babies and toddlers aboard. Its a risk because of the vaporetti and their waves. Didn't one gondolier dive to save a baby pulled overboard by motoscafo ondoso a few years ago?

Rube Goldberg comment: If Greg published such photos, where the family is visible face to face, I could use image pattern recognition web services to find a match on photo-sharing websites.

Assuming that particular family did upload their Venice holiday photos, the pics could confirm whether they took a canal ride with that gondolier or another.

Rube Goldberg comment no2: Without the help of faces, I should obtain Ente member lists to find out who the gondolier is, that hack his personal website, use that bridgehead to hack his personal computer

It's easy then to find his fiscal record and check if there are any entries for a ride with a couple, plus kid, plus infant, plus stroller, from Danieli to wherever, circa 2009 Vogalonga time.

BTW, I think that family took the gondola ride eventually.

staff said...

IMHO the family is from Northern Italy. They are evaluating the the price, how long the trip is and how to embark the stroller on the gondola. Nereo

Bob Easton said...

How much haggling is tolerated on the first ride of the day. Note the covers, all still in place.

(Had to be Brits, Americans wouldn't be up and about that early.)


Il Paradosso said...


I. The shorts on the "mom" are not like any I have seen marketed in the US. Note, as previously mentioned, the flower. Also, the pocket covers, cut and leg opening trim. Was not in style in the US in 2009.

II. The pants on the "dad" are a little out of character for his age. They are straight leg, jeans cut khakis. In the US usually worn by younger people. Older men tend to wear tapered leg khakis.

III. There is a baseball cap on the handle of the stroller. Fairly simple, but could also be a clue to the nationality.

IV. The kid could come from anywhere. I think crocs are the shoe of choice for kids all over the world, especially for travel. They are light, cheap and easy to replace if lost. (they also float, a good thing in a water infested city.)

V. The price, etc. has been agreed on. The "dad" is about to pay. The gondolier has his hand clenched so as not to seem anxious to take the money, (as belied by his posture and facial expression) hoping it includes a rather fat tip.

VI. There are two uncovered (Venetian style) Gondolas next to the covered one.

Conclusion - They are Dutch and are going on a Gondola ride.

Unknown said...

My instinct tells me that they are Northern European, maybe Dutch, German or Belgium based on haircuts and clothing; the shoes are tough to place because the little boys clogs are all over Europe and I believe the U.S. They look like the typical family that stays in Jesolo camping and comes in on a cloudy day.

The gondolier is trying to explain the different routes and fares, of course pushing for the longer more expensive one. Dad did make the deal, was well informed before approaching the gondolier, (read up on fares online, or in a "around town" tour book) and didn't pay a cent over the standard short ride fare; no tip either.

Strollers, from what I've been told, usually get stored in the traghetto while a family takes a ride, I imagine this was the case here, too.

And they certainly took a ride; how could they say no to their little boy eyeing the gondola?

That's my opinion, the opinion of the gondolier in the house might take awhile, he's pretty busy with his own customers right now! ;)

Bepi Venexiano said...

Love all the comments.
The only item I would like to note is the green band on the mans arm.
He posses one of the magic magnetic bracelets. I have seen people buy these, here's how it goes. The salesmen has you hold out your arms and he give you an unexpected push. Then he puts the bracelet on you and pushes again but this time his push has less effect on you (because you are ready for it this time) but the salesman attributes it to the magic bracelet and the customer believes. I would like to pick their nationality based on this but we must remember that stupidity is a pan-human activity.