I pride myself in being to haggle (I have Middle Eastern parents) but in Bukhara, they've had 1000 years of experience.
Located at the heart of the Silk Road, caravans bearing goods have wandered past here for centuries, honing their bargaining skills to razor sharpness.
As I entered Bukhara Carpets on the main street (Mistake #1), I was approached nonchalantly by a woman fluent in English who used a well-worn disarming tactic: appear disinterested and simply build a rapport.
I fell into the trap and made Mistake #2: I fell in love with a carpet. No matter how I tried to hide my crush, she saw through me. Her eyes glittered as though saying, "Don't even THINK of asking for a discount. I've got your number."
And possibly for the first time in my life, I was unable to budge a salesperson. I left. I came back. I pleaded. I rolled my eyes and shrugged my shoulders. Nothing. Not an ounce of sympathy.
Now, when I look at my glorious silk carpet, I know I've been bested. But no matter. It is every bit as beautiful as the day I first laid eyes on it.