Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Shop Keepers in India!

Doston, last summer my friend and I went to India for a vacation. It goes without saying we did a lot of shopping. The shopkeepers in India are hilarious. I wanted to buy a Kurtha Pajama (KP) for my husband. Afterall I had left him with the kids here in the US. I was on a guilt trip and wanted to take back something for him that I thought he would enjoy. Little did I know. (topic for another post he he). After careful screening of shops, I decided not to go for a high end shop. I picked a shop that read "Rajastan Readymade Wear". Confident of my choice, I asked the shopkeeper to show me some KP's  in the traditional "cream" color. The shopkeeper disappeared into the back of the store never to be seen for what seemed like an hour. When he finally appeared, he had a stack of KP sets that were neatly folded in a plastic bag. He showed them all to me like he was shuffling cards. After going through at least 50 of them in all different colors that one could find in the spectrum of a rainbow, I did not see a cream colored KP. How? What exactly was he doing in the back of the store? Language issues. He did not understand "cream". I noticed a slight irritation on his face because he had wasted his time. What about me?  I was irritated, tired and hungry too. It was also hot in the store. I noticed that there was a fan, but nobody wanted to switch it on. Hmmm. I thought to myself, I might as well look at some Salwar Kameez while I was there. I was sure to find at least one. Had to make the shopkeeper happy. So, I followed the shopkeeper up a narrow ladder which was so shaky and rusty that I was praying that it wouldn't break under my weight. When we got to the top, I saw that there were two people who could help me. Again, I asked  them to show me suits in my favorite color - yellow. The visibly bored shopkeepers did not want to help. They were actually enjoying the fact that I was struggling to reach the topmost shelf. Self service at it's best! Oh, whatever! I randomly picked up two salwaars and climbed down the ladder. At the cash register was a sign in bold that read "Fixed Price". Someone had told me not to pay attention to that. I decided to ask for a break in price. Big mistake! The owner was called and we had an argument. I was so upset by the end of all this, I decided to walk out of the store with nothing! Would I ever walk into a store again in India? Absolutely! I loved every minute of it. It was such a pleasure. No shopping mall in the world comes close to shopping on the streets of India. Try it!


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