Before I came to Burkina Faso, my first real experience with a real marché (market) was the Souk in Jerusalem, Israel in January 2009. Our Birthright group (Holla Shorashim Bus-86!!!) went to the Souk just before Shabbat. You had to push and shove your way through, lines do not exist, and they had many things that I had never seen before. Our assignment was to get something that you could not get in the US, so I got a Pomela, a large middle-eastern citrus fruit.
In our training village in Burkina Faso our marché is every 3 days. And. There are a few guidelines to follow here in BF to get the most out of your marché.
1.You must greet everyone before you discuss anything else (Always in French but preferably in local language
2.Haggling is expected and is often necessary to get the price you want. However, there are some items that are non-negotiable (e.g., Bread, Soap, Rice, prepared goods, condiments, etc). My fellow stagiaires will typically haggle for pagnes, fruits and veggies, and artisanal goods such as jewelry
3.Money in Mooré is weird. Prices are given in multiples of 5, so if you want 100 CFA worth of Samsa, you would say that you want 20 (Pisi in Mooré)
4.Even if you do not want to buy anything, you must say goodbye or wish them a good market day if you start a conversation with a shopkeeper.
In French: Merci, Bon Marché – Thank you, have a good market
In Mooré: Y barka, wend na lok raaga – Thank You, may God bring you a good market day.