The word bartering conjures up images of an open market, goods and produce being swapped for services or assets, people haggling, making deals and trading. It doesn't strike me as something that has a place in today's society, though Wikipedia tells me that it is and that there are internet sites set up specifically for this purpose.
The idea has always intrigued me and my first experience with it was this past summer when we ran into a Swiss baker at the Salem Farmer's market that Joe was acquainted with. We were buying some organic bread when Joe learned that Armand loves hand made soap and suggested a trade. Armand was more than happy, as were we, in that we got 2 delicious loaves of organic, artisanal bread for just 2 bars of soap. What a deal!
Last evening, at the "Don't Look a Gift Pig in the Eye" Holiday fair, the woman at the table next to me was a jewelry designer that I had met last summer at the Jazz and Soul Festival. She had purchased some soaps then and said she was going to buy some more last night. I told her I'd love to trade some soap for a piece of her jewelry, and she was enthusiastic. Sure enough, at the end of the night she came and picked out 4 bars of soap and I found a gorgeous pair of dangly blue earrings and a Tibetan jade key ring. This is fun!