Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, 22nd July 2009.
Aaaaaaah. Our last day in New York and boy was it a beautiful day. Still slightly hazey, but the sun was poking through the clouds every so often which was enough to get us excited. We were super-keen to get our caricature done, so we left all our packed-up stuff at the hostel and headed back to Central Park one last time. There really weren't many people around, but we found a couple of guys who accosted us. We had seen them being done for $15 for 2 people in Times Square so that was our budget. We had our $15 for the picture, $12 for our shuttle to the airport and $5 for a snack later on.
One of the guys started harassing us and we asked how much and he said $60 and we were like "noooooo no no no no. That's too much for our budget" and we started walking away and he said "well you tell me how much" so Hubs said "fifteen dollars" and he said "okay okay okay, morning special" (he was Chinese) and we were like "well we want a pencil drawing, not charcoal so we can roll it up" "yes yes no problem" and he took out a pencil and showed us. So we agreed.
He sat us down and got to work. He drew me first, then Hubs. It probably took about half an hour (maybe more?) and when he finished, he showed us.
We were really impressed! He finished it and signed it and then told us we needed to buy a cardboard and plastic frame for $15 so it wouldn't smudge.
This is where it went bad.
We were like "no, that's why we wanted pencil" and he acted all innocent, rubbing it a bit, showing us that it would come off if we didn't buy the frame. We kept saying no and he said "$10" and we said no again and then he said "okay okay $5 for frame." In the meantime, he had already sticky-taped it inside the frame so we didn't have a lot of choice. So I handed over $20. $15 for the picture and $5 for the frame. He just looked at me.
This is where it got worse.
"What is this?"
"That's $15 for the picture and....."
"FIFTEEN??? NO FIFTY!!!"
Hubs and Wifey just stared at him, and at each other in disbelief. This was not going to go well. We tried to reason with him that we said fifteen dollars, not fifty, and that's why we were so surprised when he agreed to it. He started to get really agitated and was talking to the other portrait guy, telling him we were trying to rip him off and we were trying to explain that we HAD NO MONEY. Etc etc etc. It kind of fell on deaf ears. We really didn't know what to do and we felt ill over it. It was just a MASSIVE miscommunication. We offered him another $10 and after a LOT of bitching, he came around.
It was really awful. We couldn't work out who got ripped-off, but we figure we came out of the deal okay. We were a little stunned by the ordeal, but had to make the most of our last couple of hours, so we set out for the reservoir and took some fun photos on the way.