Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shopping in Delhi

Outside market selling hangings
Shopping in New Delhi is a real experience. Oh yes, you have stores that people have lots of souvenirs, great deals, and not so great deals but then there are the street markets. We headed out one evening for Janpath market, a market area that stretches for well over a kilometer (or so I heard), an area that caters to tourists whether they’re from other parts or India or around the world. It really can be a haven for budget shoppers and people looking for handicrafts, garments and various curios and trinkets, however, you really need to be ready to bargain!
Fortunately, we traveled with Lana and Phil in tow, both experienced in the fine art of bargaining. Phil even worked on bringing a lady down on the price of some wall hangings – and he had no intention of buying, just doing it for fun (I bought 2). We wove our way through the shops, looking at every kind of carved animal and Hindu deity known to mankind. There were so many different styles of clothes available, trying them on over whatever you were wearing (or at least attempting to). The quality varied from shelf to shelf and store to store. At first it was impossible to tell but after a bit, and with Lana’s skillful eye, we began to note the subtle and not so subtle differences between the wares.

The shops were a mixture of tiny rooms with everything crammed together on shelves to outdoor markets with the stuff spread out on tables or on the ground. It was reminiscent of Otovalo in Ecuador with extremely canny sellers, though sometimes we could get them down and they’d finally sell. Phil helped me bargain for a vest for Jeff and when we walked away, someone finally ran up to get us to make the sale!!!

The other interesting side of shopping in Delhi were the people that came to you. At every stoplight, someone had something they were selling, ranging from trinkets, to cotton candy, sliced coconut, toilet paper, toys, and on and on. They would just walk from car to car, scurrying back to the mid-line when the light changed.

Driving down the roads (always something about driving it seems) the people always make 6 lanes out of 3, expertly (or not) weaving through traffic. Despite the extreme hectic and unpredictable driving, goods were frequently delivered by hand carts being shoved or drug through the streets. That's high on the list of a job no one would want! 

Couldn't resist ending with with a well-earned nap!

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