Bucharest’s flower sellers went on strike today. A few hundred even turned up in Piata Universitatii at lunchtime and made a bit of a scene. Protests really are all the rage these days. Apparently Bucharest City Council wants to radically change the way flower sellers do business, and as such has not been issuing any new authorisations since December.
It is difficult to know where to stand on this one. Our gut reaction is to oppose everything the council (and mayor) propose. We are also, never forget, the son of a costermonger. And yet for all the colour they add to the cityscape it does need saying that Bucharest’s flower sellers are a blight. They always overcharge, only ever accept cash, never give receipts and generally offer appalling standards of customer service.
When they open again for business tomorrow, go take a look at your local flower seller. We guarantee that there will be no prices on any of the flowers. Why? Because they make it up as they go along. No two customers will ever pay the same for identical flowers. The whole business is a huge mafia-like operation (just a couple of families have – for some reason – an almost total monopoly on all flowers imported into Romania).
Do what we do: buy your flowers at Kaufland: half the price and always far better.