Where'd You Get That?

Paula Froelich
Editor at Large
June 5, 2014

What: A Frog Ashtray

Where: Baghdad, Iraq

The Lowdown: In 2011, I went on a bus tour of Iraq. Yes, I know. I can hear you screaming, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I am not. And, despite the fact that the war was still technically “on,” it was relatively safe … safe enough that I could walk around the Shorjah market freely. In the middle of the market, next to the entrance of a 1,000-year-old school, I found a tiny little shop crammed full of curios. My eye caught on the frog. What can I say, I like frogs. The owner tried to charge me $50, but I wasn’t having it. And, due to the fact that I am a world-class haggler with a ton of patience, 45 minutes later, I scored my froggie for a fraction of the original quote—helped in part by the fact that I assured the shopkeeper I was “good luck.” Seconds after he made the sale, I leaned out the shop door, looked at all the people who were on the tour with me, who were milling about and said, “Hey! This guy’s got GREAT stuff, you should check it out!” They did and that man made his monthly mortgage in the next hour. Good luck, indeed!

The Cost: $5

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